Friday, Jan 22, 2021

8 Prayers for Online Dating In and Out of a Pandemic

Here are a few lines to pray before swiping left or right.

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When single folks like me—who on many days would prefer to be partnered—talk to God, our prayer life can sometimes sound a bit demanding. When we’re feeling frustrated that online dating apps are drying up or that the pandemic isn’t helping our marital prospects, we can get a little bossy with the Almighty.

But just as the Bible’s prayer book, the Psalms, includes a variety of prayers for different occasions—Help! and Thanks! and Sorry! and Yikes!—so, too, different prayers fit the various seasons of the dating journey. Here are eight prayers that I and others navigating the online dating world have found useful.

“I’m lonely.”

I didn’t have the good sense to offer my loneliness to God until I learned it from my friend, Ella, who’s been single since divorcing 15 years ago. She says, “When I feel and notice my loneliness and desire for a lover and companion, I talk aloud to God. I tell him how I feel, shed a few tears, and ask him to come alongside me to fill those empty spaces.” Then she asks God that if that special man is out there, God would orchestrate the introduction. Ella adds, “I then thank him for life, joy, laughter, and all the opportunities and experiences I’m given to show his love to others every day.” God welcomes us to confess and release our loneliness.

“Help me to see what you see.”

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned on the dating journey is that I need help seeing. Yes, I do literally squint my eyes trying to zoom in on microscopic profile photos to read whatever name is scrawled on a suit jacket nametag. But I also need help seeing men clearly. We need God’s vision to see who this person is. It’s easy to notice height or figure, a nice smile, a lucrative profession, or a clever wit. But what about integrity? What about kindness? What about a steadfast commitment to Christ? When we are able to see clearly, we recognize the “other” as one who bears God’s holy image. As a result, the other ceases to be an object to be consumed and is seen rightly, instead, as a brother or sister in Christ. We can ask God to open our eyes to notice quality individuals by praying, Help me to see what you see.

“Take my eyes off of myself.”

I’m just going to say it: dating apps consume our time, attention, and dollars. When I fill my quiet moments by checking to see who has viewed my profile, I end up becoming consumed with myself. Truly, if anyone would have told me two years ago that I would have taken as many trying-too-hard selfies as I have, I wouldn’t …

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