This is your weekly reminder that we are fasting and praying on Monday at lunch for the Lord to bring men and women into relationship with Him, for men to become leaders in relationships, for women to see and change in those areas of our hearts that aren’t in harmony with and obedient to Christ, and for God-honoring marriages to be given to those who desire them.
Over the summer, my two younger sisters confirmed the seriousness of their relationships (just waiting for the ring) with their boyfriends, and my roommate and dear friend of six years found a wonderful Christian guy with all the signs pointing towards marriage (soon) for them.
So…I will be the only sister going home for the holidays this year, and it will be a little lonely without my siblings. I’ll probably be house/apartment searching this spring, facing the adjustment to a new roommate when I have been spoiled by getting along so well with the same one for so many years. I will have to learn how to relate to my soon-to-be married friend and sisters now that they are in a different zip code relationally.
And while I will own up to spending more time that I would like to admit avoiding these realities by soothing my soul with Netflix and chocolate ice cream, and perhaps I am worrying about these changes prematurely (this is the way my brain works), I’m learning to be thankful for these changes. The key word here being learning.
I have been a part of the fast.pray. community for a little over a year now, praying and fasting on Mondays for God to bring men and women to Himself, for the Lord to help me change in the areas where I need to change, and for marriages for those who desire to be married. My sisters and my roommate have been at the top of my prayer list, and my prayer has been that the Lord will bring Christian men into their lives who make them happy.
And He has.
The other part of my prayer specifically for my two younger sisters is that the Lord would spare them from the pain of singleness that I have experienced. While my singleness has allowed me to meet many amazing people and do many things I probably would not get to do as a married person, it’s also a struggle, and not necessarily something I would wish for two of the people I love the most.
When the desire surfaces to feel sorry for myself as the older sister whose younger sisters are going into marriage before her, I am learning to say a prayer of thanksgiving that God is answering my Monday prayer for them. And then I say another prayer of thanksgiving because the fact that I am able to pray such a prayer is evidence that He’s changing my heart where it needs to be changed.
So let’s continue to pray for marriages and changes in our hearts, but let’s intentionally pray “with thanksgiving” (Philippians 4:6) and “giving thanks in all circumstances” (I Thessalonians 5:17-18). It’s this prayer of thanksgiving that creates a mindset of praying with expectation– to not be taken by surprise when God answers prayer, to not be discouraged or jealous when God answers prayers made on behalf of others.
The best part of this whole praying with thanksgiving thing is that it’s paired with an oh-so-precious promise: “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)
With a thankful (and guarded by the peace of God) heart,