Does prayer for a relationship work? Should Christian singles expect their prayers to be answered when they pray for a future spouse? Dr. Jim explains what singles should expect from their prayers and God’s answer (or not) to those prayers for relationship. Are our prayers being answered but we don’t see or can tell? Below is a great read for those looking for an answer to their prayers.
Why is my prayer for relationship not being answered?
God is complete and His Word is complete as well. There are some who suggest that if one prays hard enough and long enough, all of their troubles and challenges will be positively changed. Paul’s words in 1Thessalonians 5:17 states that we are to pray continually. (It also continues in verse 18 to give thanks in all circumstances.)
Our minds and hearts should always be in an attitude of prayer. What this means to me is that our Spirit should continually be seeking the Spirit of God in everything we think and do.
The Bible instructs in Matthew 7 that we are to ask and it shall be given to us. However in John 16 Jesus states that what we ask for must be in Christ’s name before the Father will give it to us. The Bible does not instruct us to go around spinning off to Heaven everything we desire and then sit back and expect God to deliver it to us.
Jesus came so that He might glorify the Father. Everything we ask for – in Jesus name – must also glorify the Father (according to John 14:13).
Why all these verses from the Bible? There are some teachings by pastors that I believe cause a great deal of confusion and unnecessary burdens on a lot of people – especially single adults. Some teach that all one has to do is just get their spiritual life strong enough and pray enough and God will answer and take care of everything.
While I strongly advocate discipline, prayer and accountability, there are some things that hinder our release to freedom and joy that we are not able to accomplish by ourselves. This does not mean that God is inadequate. It means that God often chooses a different path than the one that we are currently focusing upon.
Should we be upset with God for not answering our prayers?
Several years ago I was a lay counsellor in a church in California. A young professional man in his 30’s came to me because he was wrestling with severe anxiety attacks. In our sessions, he shared how angry he was with God for not delivering him from this burden. As we spent time together I learned that he was currently seeing a doctor at Stanford Medical University.
The doctor wanted this man to go on a medication that would address some of the ‘chemical’ reasons for his anxiety attacks. The man did not want to take the medicine because he was of the opinion that if he asked God to deliver him, God was supposed to do so. Why hadn’t God delivered him?
“God often chooses a different path than the one that we are currently focusing upon.”
This is the type of false impression of God’s ways that leads too many to their own imprisonment. I shared with this man that God uses a variety of means and people to accomplish His will. God has been in the business for many years of calling people into the medical field, counselling, and other areas to be a healing vehicle of His love and power.
When the man realized that he was very blessed to have already been accepted into the Stanford program, and that he had a doctor who cared for him, he began to consider the fact that perhaps God had been answering his prayers for some time. He took the treatment, and the difference that it made within a few weeks was amazing to observe.
Please read our previous blog on a similar topic: Struggle for an answer from God.
God is Real
God is real and His power is indeed supernatural. My observation is that we tend to place God into a box that is named ‘spiritual,’ and neglect to remember that He is the creator of ALL of us. He not only made our spirits, but our bodies, our minds, and our emotions.
When something happens to damage one of these areas, it takes prayer for relationship and putting faith into action by seeking to find the best person trained to work with us in that area of damage.
Should you seek help only from Christian professionals?
Here is another thought that I would like for you to consider. The best person to work with us is not always a Christian. Just because one is a Christian does not mean that they are automatically the best one trained in the area of our need. As an example: If you had a heart ailment and wanted to seek out the best doctor to work with you, would his/her being a Christian be at the top of your list of requirements? I don’t think so!
“We tend to place God into a box.”
I would want a doctor who had the training AND experience with the ailment that I was confronting. It would be an added bonus if he or she were also a Christian.
While you will often find me recommending that you consider finding a Christian counsellor to help guide you to process some issues in your life, I think, however, that it is even more important that you find a counsellor who is the best trained and experienced to work in the area where you need guidance.
If at all possible, it would be great if this person was a Christian but their training and experience is of more importance in non-spiritual matters.
Let me conclude by stating that you and I should always be praying and seeking God’s guidance in everything we do. God also gave us feet and often He desires to guide our ‘steps’ to the best person to work with us.
This person could be a pastor or a trained counsellor. If it is an issue other than spiritual, I strongly encourage you to only see a counsellor OR a pastor trained and experienced in counselling.
“God is complete.”
Are you aware that God might have answered some of your prayers?
Has God been answering some of your prayer for relationship and you were not aware? Take a moment and ask God to reveal to you ways that you may have not seen where He is trying to lead you down a new and better path. God is complete and I encourage you not to limit how and when He decides to move in your life.
Author of “Guide to Successful Online Christian Dating”