How many times have you heard someone tell you, “Just trust God….His plan is perfect…wait on His timing…” or something of that variation? As a 31-year old single girl, living in Dallas, TX, I (Kristen) can tell you that these phrases which are meant to be the most sincere encouragement about waiting for a future spouse start to lose their luster after a while. What do you do when you desire something, but you don’t know what God has planned for your future? You get to pray about it! So, how do we pray through singleness?
While I don’t know with absolute certainty that a husband is something God has for my future, it is something I deeply desire and hope for, and so with anything in my life, I bring it before God in prayer. I hope this post about praying through singleness reminds you that we GET to bring our desires to the Lord, ask Him for what we want, and trust that He hears us (1 John 5:14). His answer may be different than what we specifically ask for, but He has promised that He hears all of our prayers, and that’s the confidence I want to bring into my conversations with God, no matter how long I’ve been waiting on an answer.
One more note before we get into the practical part of praying for a future spouse – after listening to an old episode of The Place We Find Ourselves podcast recently, I realized that I’ve been walking the line of cynicism in this area of my life, and that’s not the heart posture I want to have when speaking with God or with anyone else about His plans for my future.
I want to live in accordance with the hope I have in Jesus, and walk expectantly into each day, trusting that God WILL provide, even though I have no idea when that will be. But in the meantime, I’ve also given myself permission to feel sorrow in the waiting. Just because I believe God will eventually provide, it doesn’t mean that the waiting is easy. I’ve been learning a lot about lament lately and I’m grateful that we serve a God who wants us to come honestly before Him, even when we’re angry, sad, lonely, or confused.
Don’t be afraid to show God your frustrations; I know He can handle them and He will meet you right where you are, not where you think you should be. This perspective has informed and shifted my prayers about a future spouse, which you’ll find below. And even if you’re not waiting on a spouse, I know most people are waiting on something, so feel free to take the prayers and adjust to your specific circumstances!
Here are a few specific things I’ve been praying for a future spouse. I hope these prayers help you draw closer to the Lord and honestly ask Him what He might have for you as you bring this desire before Him!
1. Praying for God’s timing.
I’ve never wanted anything to be forced, and I know from countless stories of friends that God can make anything happen! I don’t want a future that is outside of God’s will, so I’ve ultimately prayed that I would trust the Lord’s plans and timing for my life. I haven’t said “if” it’s your will because I truly believe that it is His will for me, but I’ve kept my prayers to “when” (it’s that perspective shift I mentioned above!) so that I am praying with faith and expectation that He WILL show up when the time is right.
A specific prayer here that I heard Kait Tomlin talk about in a recent podcast is from Song of Solomon 8:4, “Young women of Jerusalem, I charge you, do not stir up or awaken love until the appropriate time.” This prayer is not only for me, but for my future spouse as well – that God would not awaken our love for one another until it’s His divine timing.
2. Praying for my next right steps in pursuing this desire.
While the above prayer is true, God has given me authority over my life, too. For a long time, I just figured that God would bring someone into my life when it was according to His perfect plan. While I still believe that’s true, I felt pretty convicted a few years ago when I realized that I was doing nothing to participate with God in bringing about a future spouse.
Saint Augustine said, “Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.” Yes, I want to commit everything to prayer, but I also want to do my part and put myself in places where I might be able to meet someone. I’ve worked with all women for the last 6 years, and I realized that, unless I intentionally started shifting my daily traffic patterns, the Trader Joe’s cashier was the only male I was potentially interacting with on a daily basis. So, I’ve had to release my pride and ask God where He might want me to step outside of my comfort zone or if I should consider dating apps. He may not make it clear right away, but I won’t know unless I ask!
3. Praying for my future husband’s character.
I’ve had some pretty specific things I’ve been praying for a long time in this area because I want my future spouse to be someone who loves the Lord above all else. I won’t share all of them here, but I would encourage you to pray for the qualities that align with God’s Word and think about what kind of person you would want to lead you and your family in the future. 1 Timothy 3 is a great resource if you need help here!
4. Praying for my future husband’s life now.
I want to pray for my future spouse’s heart and life now because I want Him to become more like the person God has intended for Him to be, even before I meet Him. I specifically pray for Him to be rooted in community, for protection of His mind and body, and for Him to be walking in a path of purity. These are specific things I feel like the Lord has laid on my heart, so consider asking God what He might want you to pray for here.
5. Praying for my hope to stay rooted in the Lord.
While I wait with hope for the Lord to bring me a spouse, I ultimately want my hope to be in the Lord. I don’t want my hope for my life on this earth to be greater than my hope for eternal life with my Savior.
Speaking of hope, I want to end on a few passages of Scripture that I pray will restore your hope in this area of life if the wait for a spouse (or for anything else) has been trying for you. I’ve long loved Psalm 27:13-14, which says:
I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart, and wait for the Lord.
While I’ve often focused on the goodness of the Lord part of the verse, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized sometimes His goodness comes after the waiting, or even in the midst of the waiting. I get to have confidence that His goodness is for me now, even when my waiting feels long.
Life is never all good or all bad. There is always goodness of God that I can see around me if I just open my eyes to look for it. No matter what we’re waiting for, may we choose to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer (Romans 12:12) because hope does not put us to shame (Romans 5:5).
Drop your name in the comments if you are currently praying for your future spouse and we will join you in that prayer and share with a fellow single friend!
Also, if you’re looking for inspiration on how to fill out your prayer journal, check out Katie’s journal prep. She talks all about how she fills out her journal to include praying for her future spouse!