I recently taught a 3 part series at our La Tech BCM on the subject of “Loving”. During the 1st Session I gave the students an opportunity to write down questions that they wanted to have answered about relationships/loving/or anything they wanted to know about. These next few posts will be my attempt at answering those questions.
1. Is it appropriate to pray together when you are still dating? Does it develop a spiritual intimacy that should be reserved for marriage?
Answer: Prayer will develop an intimacy with God. Praying together gets messed up only if it is made to be a part of your “dating package” requirements. Prayer, in its purest form, is like breathing – it is a moment by moment conversation with your Savior. Scripture teaches us to “pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17). Jesus prayed everyday, alone (Mark 1:35), with others (Matthew 19:13), and for others (John 17:6-26). So, it seems to me, that when you are dating someone or not, you pray together because you pray already.
2. Why do you think we should pray with a boyfriend/girlfriend? Or is that meant for marriage?
Answer: See previous answer to Question #1. I am curious as to where this philosophy of “prayer only being meant for marriage” comes from? There is no Biblical precedent that I know of for this being an issue for marriage only. We need each other to be praying for each other! I think the mistake here, is making “praying together” a checked item for dating, like it is a spiritual standard of behavior for a special relationship. You don’t have to pray with each other at all – there is no command of scripture for you to pray with your girlfriend, fiance’ or wife, but, there is a command (and examples) that you should PRAY – all the time, anytime, for people, for yourself, in your closet, with a few, for a lot, with boldness, with humility, & in Jesus’ name. This should keep your prayer life vibrant and active, organic and constant.
3. How can I make my prayer life better when praying for my future spouse & the men that are friends in my life? Is there scripture to support specifically what needs prayer?
Answer: Jesus gave us an example of how we should pray in Matthew 6:5-13 Examine those elements & make them a part of your specific prayer time. You also have been given a huge measure of grace in approaching the throne of God to ask & receive in Hebrews 4:14-16
On a more “can I ask for a specific thing regarding a wife/husband” – there is an example of that in the passage I referred to in our recent Bible study about Abraham’s worker that was commissioned to go find a wife for Isaac (Abraham’s son). Brother ‘Abe’ gave some general directives about who to look for and where etc., but the worker then asked God for some VERY specifics regarding his mission. Read in Genesis 24:12-14
** I am not suggesting that you do it this way, but I am just pointing out that it has worked in some cases. 🙂
4. What is one way to pray for a woman? How?
Answer: Pray the scripture.
Pray she will obey the commands of Christ as a follower of Christ. Or that she will come to know Jesus Christ and give her life to Him by faith.
Pray specifically that she will mature in her spiritual gift(s) from God as seen in Ephesians 4:7, 11-12 and I Corinthians 12:4-11 and in Romans 12:4-8
Pray for her to develop the nature & character traits in Proverbs 31
Stay tuned for your next set of questions… “Waiting: How long, How etc.?”, “The One”, “Getting Over Past Hurts” and so many more great questions.