I’ve been challenged lately with my tendency to think about things, rather than pray about them.
There’s been a series of difficult events occurring in my life, and I find that I’m quick to analyze, figure out, and try to put the pieces together. I guess what it comes down to is that I am somewhat of a control freak. For me, if I can’t have control, I fool myself into thinking that I’ve got some sort of ability to “figure it out” in my head.
But as I’ve been weeding through Scripture lately, I’m realizing that my tendency to over-analyze is so antithesis to what God’s word says. All through Scripture Jesus is challenging us: Don’t just dwell on things, pray about them. Prayer is the act by which we mentally hand over our problems, concerns, fears, desires, and dreams to someone who actually has the power to control. And it makes so much sense, because if we’re going to allow these things to fill our brain, we are better off doing it in a way that has the power to impact the things that are weighing us down, rather than simply allowing them to consume us.
So for those of you who may find yourself consumed by your love life- or lackthereof, here are some ways to mentally and prayerfully hand those things to the One who can actually do something about it:
- That God would give you a relationship (Matthew 7:7)! God’s word challenges us to ask and bring our needs before God. As long as our hearts are aligned with His, there are no limits on what we can ask. What are your deepest needs and desires when it comes to a relationship? Let Him know.
- That He would grant you patience and insight to wait for a good one (Isaiah 40:31). Waiting on God is never easy, because once again, it is a reminder that we are not in control. But through the time of waiting, ask God to change you, nourish you, and fill you so that you are empowered and prepared to take the next steps when the timing is right.
- That He would be working out anything unhealthy in your life (Jeremiah 33:8). Some of our baggage and sin we can recognize, and some we can’t. As you seek to enhance your love life, be sure to ask God to help you recognize and heal all the things in your life that aren’t lining up with His best. Seek to get to the bottom of your sins, and ask for His healing power to be at work in your life.
- That He would shape your heart for nourishing interactions with others (Colossians 3:12-14). It’s important to learn how to love, rather than simply longing to be loved. When your heart is open to loving and edifying others the way it was meant to, your relationships will be enriched and empowered.
- That He would bring healing into your past so that you are free to embrace the present (Philippians 3:13-14). We are called to move forward, and forget what is behind. Sometimes, it’s easy to get stuck on our past and be paralyzed from living in the present. No matter what kinds of things your past may hold, ask God to be at work in your past so that you are free to live in the moment and embrace your present.
- That He would protect your emotional world and give you wisdom of how to set healthy boundaries (Proverbs 4:23). I talk a lot about guarding our hearts and how to practically do that, but how often do we actually pray about our hearts and emotional worlds? God longs to be a part of our emotions just as much as our spiritual life. He is a holistic God, who longs to interact with our mind, body, and soul. Give Him a chance by opening your emotional life to Him through prayer.
- That He would open your eyes to the joy of doing sex His way (Hebrews 13:4). It’s so easy to focus on what we can’t do before marriage, and end up harboring bitterness and resentment. But what if we were to ask God to open our eyes to doing life His way? What if we were to plead with Him to download His heart onto ours, so that we could truly understand what is best for our lives? Rather than struggling with His plan, let’s ask Him to reveal His heart to ours, particularly in the area of sex and sexuality, so that we can be freed to trust Him without bitterness or regret. (More on this in Chapter 8 of True Love Dates)
- That God would be the focus of your life now and forever (Psalm 37:4). At the end of the day, no matter how we view it, there is no gift that is greater than the Giver. Whether we feel that or not, it doesn’t cease to be true. May we continue to bring this request before God, so that He can turn our hearts to Him as our greatest delight and desire, because perspective has the power to change everything.
This week, rather than focus on your problems, worries, or what you don’t yet have…focus on what you do have– A direct line to the One who controls all things, including your precious heart. It’s time to actually do some real work in the area of our love life and relationships instead of wasting our mental energy away. It’s time to pray.