We fast and pray (typically through Monday’s lunch): for marriage for those who desire it; for strong, God-honoring marriages to thrive; and for our hearts to be soft and receptive to our Father.
When I started writing for fast.pray. in 2012, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but it ended up being one of the best and most difficult things I’ve done. The guidelines for posting were simple: keep it around 600-ish words (sorry, sometimes it has taken more words than that!) and share your struggles with singleness, but always bring it back to the focus of hope that we have in the Lord.
At the risk of sounding heretical, this exercise should be a new spiritual discipline. Take the most personal/emotional/mental/spiritual struggle you have and write and reflect on it in light of Scripture and God’s promises. Oh yes, and hundreds of people will read it and comment.
But writing has been such a blessing to my soul. I’ve had many spiritual epiphanies while processing situations and feelings in order to share them with you. It was a tremendous comfort to know that others in the community had similar experiences as we walked this journey of singleness together.
To structure my time of fasting and prayer on Mondays, I made a list of friends and family for whom I pray about their marital status. The list has two columns: single and married. For my single guy/girl friends, I pray the Lord will bring a spouse if that’s His Will. For my married friends, I pray for strong, lasting marriages.
Over the years, I’ve moved names from the single list to the married list, praising the Lord for answered prayer. It’s been a joy to see relationships develop, and I have realized answered prayer myself as I met (online), dated, and married my husband (see My Plan B is God’s Plan A).
Being married hasn’t changed my heart or attitude toward the importance of fasting and praying for marriage. If anything, it has reinforced the importance as I’ve heard stories of struggling marriages, and there are still many names on my prayer list of singles who desire marriage.
However, for the past several months, I’ve felt the Lord leading me to take on a new role in our fast.pray. community as a prayer supporter rather than a regular writer. I feel I have “written through” my journey with singleness and can’t add to the sense of journeying together which is what makes this community so special and effective. Even though I know from experience the rollercoaster the single life can be, the last thing I want is for me to come across as that married person who has good intentions but is not adding to the conversation in a meaningful way.
To illustrate what I mean: I recently heard a sermon on the book of Job, and the pastor mentioned that Job’s friends would have been much more effective in comforting and supporting him if they had simply come to sit, listen, and pray (as they did at first) rather than speak. (Job 2:11-4:8)
So I’m here to sit, listen, and pray with you every Monday rather than speak. I might pop up from time to time to let you know I’m still around and praying, but for now, I’m going to quietly support. Thank you for the feedback, encouragement, and insight you’ve given me these past three years!
To borrow Paul’s prayer for the Colossians (1:9b-14 NIV):
[I] continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Much love through Him,