Thirty years old and still praying for a spouse? Here's encouragement as you continue on the journey.
If you read the Christy Miller series in high school or college, you no doubt were inspired by Christy’s decision to pray for her future husband as she wrote him letters. Many girls started doing this in their own lives, and now there’s a tool to guide young women in this endeavor: Praying for Your Future Husband. This prayer guide is for young women who want to be intentional about seeking God’s direction for their future.
We asked the book's authors, Robin Jones Gunn and Tricia Goyer, to share some encouragement to women who are still praying for their future husbands. Keep reading and be reminded that you are being relentlessly pursued by God. After all, every earthly story of romance is borrowed from the eternal love story between God and His children.
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Maybe it was your Sunday School teacher or through the pages of a book that you first heard about praying for your future husband. Maybe you clung to the message and ran with it. Maybe you've prayed so many prayers you're running out of words. Or perhaps your words have become as route as saying the alphabet.
On the other hand, perhaps you're still considering if it's worth praying for your future husband at all. You've done so many things to prepare for him. You've poured your heart out in so many ways. Part of you worries about being disappointed. Yet is that what prayer is about — a magic elixir for getting what we want when we want? We know it isn't.
Prayer is an extraordinary mystery.
This sacred privilege of communicating with our heavenly Father is more than a cozy, open invitation to come to Him anytime, anywhere. Even though His ears are open to the cries of His children 24/7, prayer is more than that. Prayer is also an act of obedience. We are exhorted to pray for others and to pray without ceasing.
Neither Tricia nor I pretend to have prayer all figured out. What we do know is that God hears. He sees. He knows us. He cares more than we can ever comprehend. And most important of all, God answers prayer.
Perhaps you’ve noticed that the way God answers prayers often isn’t what we expect. We look back years later and see that what God did was oh so much better than what we first envisioned when we sent our heartfelt requests heavenward. He created us, and He desires the best for us. God always gives His best to those who leave the outcomes with Him.
Another, even more amazing mystery is that, when we pray for someone else, we change. All of us were made to be loved, to give and to receive love. When your heart connects through prayer to the One who is the source of true love, you’ll find that praying for your future husband will wondrously result in your heart being changed. And when your heart is changed, your life is transformed.
What sort of changes will God bring about in your future husband's life as a result of your praying for him now? We don’t know.
As you pray for him, what sort of changes will God initiate in your heart? We don’t know that either.
But we do know one thing:
God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It's a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. It's a good thing when you're young to stick it out through the hard times. When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don't ask questions: Wait for hope to appear (Lamentations 3:25-29, The Message).
I love that last line: "Wait for hope to appear." Isn't that what you need most when you're still praying for your future husband, especially when so many of your friends are married and have children?
Perhaps you’ve prayed and prayed, but God hasn’t answered. Your prayers seem like bulbs planted in a winter garden. Each time you check for results, all you see is barrenness, debris and frost. You doubt the warmth of your faith when you first planted the prayers in a season of light and hope.
Patience, dear God Lover. Nothing is wrong with your prayers. Leave all of them safely hidden with the Lord. Hold fast to the hope that He has heard and is at work in the garden of your heart.
One bright spring morning you will be stunned when you see what God’s resurrection power has done with those requests you buried so long ago.
What is it that the Lord is asking you to work on in your life during this season? Please don’t compromise your standards. Don’t start making excuses to justify why you’re settling for actions or relationships that you know in your heart aren’t what you want your life to be about.
How can you change that destructive behavior today? What are the new choices you need to start making?
Most importantly, be at peace. See this time as an opportunity for God to develop His patience in you. And don’t forget: Love is patient.
Will you get married one day? Statistics say that you will. We all know that staying married is a whole lot more important than just getting married. How you spend this stretch of waiting and allowing God to develop His patience in you will only benefit you during the difficult times that all married couples go through.
And just as there are two people in every marriage, there are two people who are learning patience as they wait for each other. If you're having a hard time, your future husband most likely will, too. Your prayers will make a difference.
How do I pray for God to develop patience in my future husband?
- Pray he will turn to God and that God's peace will help him to be inwardly calm and willing to wait.
- Pray he will have a quiet and steady faithfulness to God.
- Pray he will be content in every state he finds himself in.
- Pray his eyes will be focused on things to come, rather than things he wished he had now.
- Pray he will not push for answers before the time is right.
- Pray he will trust God's sense of timing.
- Pray he will be reminded of all the times God has been patient with him.
- Pray he waits with hope and expectancy.
Of course, as you pray these things for your future husband, be sure to pray the same for yourself. Patience is like holding a closed bud of promise in your hand. Imagine that closed, white rose in your mind. Consider allowing each petal to unfold slowly, in its own way. Can you see the beauty of each stage? Can you see God's hand wrapped around yours, watching the unfolding with you?
The Love Story
Will your love story come true? For many of you it will. Concerning your future husband it could be in the near(er) future, or like some, it could be years in the distance. It could be a quick romance. It could be a slow falling in love. It could be exactly like you pictured it or like nothing you ever dreamed. But when the day comes that your story is celebrated by your closest friends and family, you'll know that every prayer was worth it. And you might even wish you'd prayed more, because prayers are the first gifts you give to your future husband. Gifts that heaven participates in giving.
While we can't guarantee every one of you will have that type of love story, there is another type we do believe will take place. Everyone, everywhere can have a beautiful love story with her God. It begins the moment you look into His eyes, realize how much you are loved, and give your love and commitment in return.
While we cannot guarantee your prayers will lead you down the aisle to a waiting mate, we do know that every prayer whispered is precious to God. None of them are wasted. While we hope your prayers for the man of your dreams come true, we know that your prayers bring you closer to the God of your eternity. And seeing the love in His gaze is the most beautiful love story of all.
If you are to be committed to anything, be committed to preparing your heart for God's — in this way — and in every other aspect of your life. The love you'll experience will be life-changing, and the celebration in eternity is one to look forward to with all your heart.
Copyright 2011 Tricia Goyer and Robin Jones Gunn. All rights reserved.