Updated: Nov 28, 2018
I've been noticing women on social media asking celebrities like Ciara, Meagan Good and Nicole Ari Parker about word-for-word details on the prayer they prayed before being blessed with their fine, seemingly perfect husbands. Here's one example:
Auntie Nicole responded brilliantly by sharing an intimate conversation she had with God (which really is all prayer is) before meeting, dating and marrying her Knight in Shining Shea Butter, Boris Kodjoe (click here to read it and come back when y'all done). What I love most about her response is that while she was very specific about what she desired in a man, she was also very aware and transparent about the parts of herself that needed work.
Oftentimes when we pray for the things we want in a relationship, we have a tendency to focus on the traits we desire in our potential partners rather than the traits we should be improving within ourselves. Our idea of "prayer" usually involves reciting and/or writing out a wish list of our physical/spiritual/financial expectations and requirements for Future Bae, shoving it into God's hands, and waiting (impatiently) for Him to deliver on our request, soon and very soon.
I used to believe the secret recipe to getting a man was praying for everything I wanted him to be (I mean, Psalm 37:4 does tell us that God will give us the desires of our hearts). But after experiencing one failed relationship after the next, I realized I was missing a key ingredient: self-awareness.
So, instead of structuring my prayers around the picture-perfect man I desired, I began asking God to shape and mold me into the woman He created ME to be. I prayed for Him to mend and strengthen the parts of me that were broken and insecure. I prayed for healing from past heartbreaks and disappointments. I prayed for clarity and discernment to make better life decisions. I prayed for God to order my steps and align me with the right people and opportunities to carry out His will. I prayed for self-sufficiency. I prayed for balance. I prayed for peace of mind. And then I began acting on everything I prayed for, because faith without works is dead (James 2:17).
I started going to therapy and posing challenges to myself every month to focus on the areas of my life that needed improvement (read more about it here). My challenge for March was no meat, dairy or dating, which helped me to reflect and gain perspective on the things I was consuming not just physically, but mentally, spiritually and emotionally as well. The focus was totally on me developing healthier habits and a new level of self-discipline. Once I shifted my focus towards bettering myself, I felt better, I looked better, I was better.
Not because I prayed for a good man, but because I prayed for the balance, self-sufficiency and peace of mind to be good with or without one.