Praying is Doing

We fast and pray on Mondays for God’s Will to be done in our lives concerning marriage and for hearts that find hope in Him whether single or married. We pray for men and women to come to know Jesus.

When I first started writing for fast.pray., I shared the blog with a friend with whom I’d had countless why-am-I-single/what-is-God-doing/not-doing conversations. The response was something like this: “This is all well and good, but how does this help me find a spouse? I want advice on what I should do.”

Over the years, we’ve also had readers ask us writers for examples of things we have done to try to meet someone.

We’ve individually and collectively done quite a lot. There’ve been forays into online dating, attendance at parties, involvement in our churches’ young adult groups, visits to other churches’ young adult groups, blind dates, new outfits, new hairstyles/color, grad school (I’m not too proud to admit that part of my motivation for going to grad school was to get into a new circle of people, only to arrive at orientation and find my cohort was all female), and smiles to cute strangers.

Between the self-inflicted pressure and the “encouragement” of friends and family to “get out more,” there’s no end of ways to try to meet Future Spouse.

But the most important thing we’ve done is to stay connected to this community and each other in an *attempt* to keep our hearts soft toward however the Lord is leading in our lives, whether or not marriage and a family is in the picture (although it’s something for which we pray).

For me, the main role fast.pray. has played in my life is to adjust my attitude as I’ve come before the Lord on Mondays – physically, spiritually, and emotionally hungry. Praying for spouses for guy- and girl-friends who are single, praying for all of you, and praying for strong marriages for friends who are married has helped prevent the time from becoming too centered around my problems, for when I’m focused only on myself is when I’m most unhappy and the most unpleasant to be around.

I’ve learned/am learning to have compassion and how to share another’s pain even though I might not share the exact struggle. I’ve started asking myself in all areas life, “How am I responding to this as one who has {eternal} hope?”

Amy, Anna, Michelle, and I met last week, and we agreed that the angst keenly felt in years past has changed. I KNOW that being in community and prayer have been key contributors to that fact.

To paraphrase something my pastor shared today, “The power of prayer is not found in the words but in the attitude behind the prayer – of humbling yourself before God, acknowledging you can’t handle the situation by yourself.”

That’s a main goal behind our weekly fasting and praying. For attitudes to be changed through prayer and the work of the Holy Spirit. Not to give away any secrets, but our “formula” behind writing is something like: my struggle + God’s truth + how to respond in humble hope and obedience. (Think of Paul in Romans 11.)

This week, let’s focus on the heart, praying against bitterness and for compassion, and take the time to be quiet before the Lord. No worrying about what you are or aren’t doing is allowed!

“Your adornment must not be merely external…but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” (I Peter 3: 3-4)

Lovingly,

Emily

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