Is It Okay to Pray for a Husband?

It started as a normal workday debrief. Two minutes after my friend walked into the room, she was halfway into a story about how horrible her date had been over the weekend. Between bites of microwaved leftovers, she leaned over the table and looked at me.

"This is ridiculous," she said. "If we're supposed to pray about everything, then I'm going to start praying for a husband. What do you think? Is it okay to just ask for something like that?"

Years have passed since she first asked, but her question bubbled back up to the surface of my memory recently. I was talking to Asheritah Ciuciu about her new book, Prayers of REST, a collection of 365 prayers centered on common prayer requests and struggles. I asked her if she would share her thoughts about praying specific prayers. Here's what she said: 

For a long, long time, one thing that kept me back from praying specific prayers was wondering if I was asking for the wrong things. I wondered if what I was praying was really according to God's will. I would pray generic prayers: “God, I have this decision coming up, and, uhhh . . . Your will be done.” It was an uninvolved, nonpersonal prayer. 

In the pages of Scripture, when we look at Jesus' prayers and the Psalms, we see that God invites us to come to Him with exactly what's happening in our daily lives. He invites us to pray about the small things—to pray about the specifics.

God also invites us to bring our whole spectrum of human emotions to Him: even emotions like anger, bitterness, guilt, or resentment. Hard emotions can become an invitation to talk to Jesus honestly. Instead of pretending like I'm not feeling them, I recognize the emotion and choose to bring it to Jesus. 

In that moment I may pray, “Jesus, if I'm honest, I'm feeling really angry about the situation with my spouse” or “the situation at work.” Or I may say, “Jesus, I'm really struggling with jealousy toward this one person in my friend group. Search me, O God, and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. Lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23–24).

Even when I don't have the words to express, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us to help us in our weakness (Rom. 8:26). We may groan, “Oh, God, will you help me?” And He accepts even those prayers, and they are a fragrant offering before Him. 

I have found it helpful to pray using the acronym: REST. This format has helped me to practically accept Jesus’ invitation to come to Him and find rest in His presence, even when I am praying for a friend's situation that I haven't been through myself. 

On the Prayers of REST podcast recently, we have been talking about tricky relationships. Two specific ones that we address are: 

Let's walk through the acronym and see what it looks like from these different 

perspectives.

R—Recite God’s Goodness

We all suffer from soul amnesia and forget how God has been good to us. But when we remember who God is and what He’s done, it sparks hope in our hearts and gives us a different perspective on our situation (even when our situation doesn't change).

When you recite God’s goodness, you don’t need a lengthy prayer. Your prayer could be a sentence that says, “God, You're good, and You're not withholding anything” or “God, You’re good, and You're close to the brokenhearted. Thanks for being with me right now.” 

  • Pray for a single friend: “God, You are the one who never leaves us. You are the God who is present. Jesus, you left the comfort of Heaven to come to earth in human form to be with us. Thank You that now—due to Your Holy Spirit—You are with us, and Your presence always surrounds us. Even when my friend feels lonely and has to face challenges without a life partner, she's never truly alone because Your Spirit is with her."
  • Pray as a single woman: “God, You are good. You don't withhold any good gifts from your children. Even though I want a spouse and I'm not in a season where I have one—Your Word says that Your love is better than life. There's nothing else that can satisfy me the way that You do. Thank you for offering all of Yourself to me. God, I choose to rest in Your goodness. I choose to remind myself that You are good, and You're not holding out on me."

E—Express Your Neediness

This one is pretty self-explanatory. This is where we tell God our needs, where we are honest with Him about our heart emotions, and where we confess sin when His Spirit reveals it to us. 

It's good for this to come on the heels of reciting God's goodness. Thinking rightly about Him places us in a posture of humility, where we are prepared to be honest about our needs. 

  • Pray for a single friend: “God, You know how hard it is for her to be alone. You didn't make us to be alone—that was not Your original intent. You created us for relationship. I don't know why my friend is still single. I know the desire of her heart is to have a spouse. God, I ask that You would bring that man into her life at Your perfect time and in Your perfect way. As she waits, would you continue to make her like You? Would You fill her with the fullness of joy as she discovers that You are enough? I pray she will be fully satisfied in You, so that when that person comes, together, they might mirror the image of Jesus and His Bride."
  • Pray as a single woman: "God, You know my heart. You know how much I want this, and this desire is good. But, God, as I spend time reflecting and searching my heart, it seems like there's some bitterness here. It seems like there's some distrust. I'm doubting that You're good. I feel like You're holding back on me—I confess that, and I ask that You would strengthen my faith, and that You would help me to see You rightly. I ask that You would not allow me to believe the lies of the enemy that say You're somehow holding out on me. Help me to trust You with everything inside of me. And, God, open my eyes, so that if You do bring that person, I'll see him, and my community will recognize him. God, would You surround me with friendships that fill that desire for a companion? Would You bring families alongside me that might envelop me into their rhythms, so that I might feel part of their family group?"

Before I started using the REST acronym, this is the place where I would say "amen" and move on with my day. I grew up in a Christian family, and when I would pray, I would focus on adoration, worship, and confession. I would thank God for things in my life. I would ask God for things. And then I would always say “amen” and move on.

But in the last few years, I found that even though I was going through spiritual disciplines like reading the Bible and praying, I was still not experiencing the rest that Jesus talked about. I would read verses like Psalm 46:10: “Be still, and know that I am God” (ESV). Or the passage in Isaiah, where God says, “In returning and rest you shall be saved" (Isa. 30:15 ESV). In verses like these, God invites us to be still with Him. In the Book of John, Jesus says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me" (John 10:27 ESV). 

So many of us want to hear from God. We want His involvement. We want to know His direction and decision making. But we're living such fast-paced lives that we never actually slow down to be still in His presence. We never slow down to be loved by Him. 

We're to delight in God (Psalm 37:4), and Scripture says He delights in us (Psalm 41:11). But so often prayer is a checklist where I say that I "did prayer” for the day instead of seeing prayer as an invitation to come and sit with God, to rest with Him, and to be still with Him. That's why I built the next letter, the S, in the middle of the acronym—because without it there, we would be tempted to leave it off.
 

S—Seek His Stillness 

So now that we've recited what's true and good about God, now that we have expressed our needs, God invites us to be still with Him. This is the time where we can just be quiet. 

  • Pray for a single friend: “Lord, would You—in this moment—remind my friend of how much You love her? Remind her of Your presence surrounding her.”
  • Pray as a single woman: “God, help me not rush past this moment . . . or through this season. Remind me of Your presence through Your Word.”

Sitting in this place is so refreshing. It's one of the most beautiful things I've ever experienced. The sad thing is: it's a gift that's always available to us, and yet we are too busy and hurried and rushed to experience it. God doesn't tell us to hustle into His kingdom. He invites us to step into the yoke of Jesus and experience rest for our souls. That's what the "S" is for.

T—Trust His Faithfulness

Now it's time to trust God's faithfulness: that God is who He said He is and that He will do what He said He will do. During the time of stillness, if He brought something to mind through His Spirit, then this is the time where we commit to obey. We're going to trust and obey. 

  • Pray for a single friend: "God, I trust that You will be with her. I trust that You do have the best intentions for her. I trust that if it is Your will, at the right time, You will bring a man in her life. When that happens, I will be there cheering for her and celebrating Your goodness. I trust that You will be faithful, that You started a good work in her, and that You will be faithful to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus (Phil. 1:6). Thank You that we have the body of Christ. Thank You that we are here for each other. So God, I celebrate Your goodness and Your faithfulness in creating this season that she's in, and I celebrate that You're doing Your good work, even right now."
  • Pray as a single woman: "God, I trust that You will be faithful. You will give me what I need at the right time. If I don't have it right now, then it means that You're doing something else in my life—and I choose to trust. When doubt creeps into my mind, when I'm tempted to wonder about Your goodness, I will choose to trust You. I trust You."

This last step in prayer, this trusting part, has been so helpful in allowing me to practically experience change in my life. I found that I would pray about something that was worrying me, put it in God's hands, and then two hours later, be worrying about it again. I would get frustrated with myself and think, "I prayed about that! Why am I still worrying?" And I’d beat myself up. 

Instead, I've learned to say, "Oh, yes, I'm worrying again—but God, I trust You. I'm going to pause right now and remind myself that I have already laid this in Your hands. This feeling is coming again. But it's okay. You're still good. You're still faithful. I recognize that I'm still struggling with this. If there’s anything You want to say to me right now, I'm going to be still for a few moments. I'm going to listen. Then I'm going to remind myself that You are trustworthy."

Ending with trust is the key to experiencing soul rest. We'll experience peace when we trust that God is at work. As long as He is the one working through the Spirit, then we can be at rest. 

Asheritah’s Anthem of Hope

Friend, if you're longing to slow down and rest in your prayer life, make sure to order Asheritah Ciuciu's amazing resource, Prayers of REST. This book includes 365 prayer prompts, all following her helpful REST acronym. You'll learn how to pray through every book of the Bible, in all seasons of the year, and in the ups and downs of everyday life, whether you're leaving on a trip, trying to overcome an addiction, or preparing to apologize to a friend. 

In the final section of the book, Asheritah shares her hope for the resource. As you set out on your prayer journey, may it become your heart's anthem as well: 

"Truly my soul finds rest in God."
—Psalm 62:1 (NIV)


Note: Good news! Asheritah Ciuciu will be leading two breakout sessions at True Woman ’22. For more about finding rest in the chaos of life, sign up for her session: "Soul Care for Busy Women." Want to discover freedom from food fixation? In her session "Food Is Not the Enemy," you'll learn how you can find fullness and satisfaction in Christ alone. Register today!

About the Author

Katie Laitkep

Katie Laitkep

Katie Laitkep was working as a hospital teacher when God called her to join Revive Our Hearts as a staff writer. She serves remotely from Texas, where God sustains her through saltwater beaches, Mexican food, and Scripture. Her website, www.apatientprocess. … read more …


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