Q: How can I begin praying for a spouse in a place where I don’t have any dating/marriage prospects?
A: It’s hard to pray for something – or someone – when you have no idea whether or not they even exist.
I remember being single and just trying to hard to picture the type of person I would one day marry. I tried to imagine what he would look like, sound like, and what his personality would be. (And can I just say – I ended up so completely wrong on all three accounts).
When you’re single with no prospects in sight, it’s easy to spend your days wishing, dreaming, hoping, and even worrying. But the interesting thing is that while those actions might be fun, they don’t actually do anything for you. But prayer….prayer is powerful.
When it comes to praying for love and you’ve got no prospects in sight, I think it’s important to take a few steps back and focus not just on who you hope to marry – but on what you’re bringing to the table.
Pray for your personal healing. Praying for love means that you learn to take ownership of your role in the equation of a relationship. You are 50% of the equation of how healthy (or unhealthy) your marriage is going to be. It’s easy to get so fixated on that person you want to be with. It’s easy to give God your wish-list and ask him to grant your desires for love. But healthy people dig much deeper than that, because they know that they’re level of personal health is what’s going to determine the health of their future relationship.
So what steps are you taking to pray through your struggles and overcome them? How often are you inviting God into those dark places of your life and heart, and accepting His healing in your life? What areas from your past still have a grip on you? How are you praying through your insecurities and allowing God’s identity to shape and transform you? You need to be praying for love, but sometimes the best way to do that starts from the inside-out.
Pray for your heart. I think sometimes, the hardest part of this journey of the “unknown” is the waiting. And wondering. Will God give me a spouse? What does my future hold? What will I do in the meantime? It’s important not to see this time as a time of simply waiting, but a time of preparation. So start praying in that way. Ask God to prepare your heart for love, to teach you trust, to give you purpose, to grant you patience, and to give you hope along the way. Ask Him to help you take care of your heart, to set proper boundaries, to be careful with who you entrust it with, and to learn when to give and when to hold back.
Pray for your journey. Life is a journey that’s unfolding regardless of your relationship status. You’re either going to be enjoying living it, or sitting around waiting to live it. If you find yourself caught in a pattern of bitterness and discouragement, maybe it’s time to ask God to show you how you can start living your life rather than wasting it away in the waiting. Singleness may be a struggle for you in this stage of life, but it doesn’t have to be a stronghold. It doesn’t have to keep you down. Like I always say, life doesn’t start when you get married, life is happening right here, right now. So talk to God about it, and then ask yourself what are the steps you can take to live your life now.
Prayer isn’t just some fairy dust that we sprinkle on our lives, or a star that we wish upon. Prayer is powerful, it’s meaningful, and it’s effective. Prayer doesn’t just change our situation – it changes us from the inside out. So prospects or not, start praying for your love life today.
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Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, national speaker, relationship expert, and author of True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life, where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. Her newest book, Choosing Marriage, is set to be released in the Summer of 2018! You may also recognize her voice from her 200+ articles at Relevant Magazine, Crosswalk.com, and all over the web! She’s the creator of this True Love Dates Blog, reaching over 4 million people with the message that healthy people make healthy relationships! Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter or book a session with her today!