Praying and Dating Without Mating ; Guest Feature

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I think that most Christians would agree that prayer works. We have been given such a wonderful gift to talk to God in a real way. He always meets us where we are at whether we come to Him happily or we come to Him broken. More importantly the Bible talks about "corporate prayer"... Basically between two or more people. I love how the Message Bible summarizes it from Matthew 17:18-20: 

What you say to one another is eternal. I mean this. When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.

I have been married a year and a half now to my amazing husband Rob. When I was single I wanted to absorb as much information as possible from other married couples. I had dated the very wrong way before and was determined that my next relationship would be done the right way. 

We live in a society where sex is cheap, commitment is disposable, and love is flaky and I wanted the opposite of all of those things for my life.
I had heard conflicting information about praying while dating: some said, "Don't do it, it's too intimate" while others said, "Start praying right away." So I basically felt like I had to go with my gut and do what I felt was right! I don't believe we did everything correctly but hindsight is 20/20. Here is how we did our prayer life as it evolved from getting to know each other, dating, engaged, to married! *Please note that every couple is different and it is all about setting your own healthy physical and emotional boundaries. This is not meant to be a set of rules but a sharing of experiences*:

1) The first few dates: We never prayed together when we were in the unsure of each other stage (even though we knew each other for years). I think it was something we both intentionally avoided. I didn't want to become emotionally attached quite yet before I knew that these dates would become a relationship.

2) Dating officially: This is where we talked about boundaries. We decided the best time for us to pray was right before we parted ways for the evening. I knew from the past that praying together brings in emotional and spiritual intimacy which can easily lead to physical intimacy. The end of the night worked well for us because as soon as we said "Amen" he was out the door. I always went back to 1st Corinthians 7 during this season of my life (Message Bible):

Sexual drives are strong, but marriage is strong enough to contain them and provide for a balanced and fulfilling sexual life in a world of sexual disorder.

3) Engagement: Things got hard when we became engaged. You are pretty confident that this is your future spouse. Many of my friends joke that this time is the "danger zone". You are committed but not married. I have heard many couples try to justify it by saying, "Well we are getting married anyways so let's just throw boundaries out the door." NO! Not worth it. This is where I suggest discussing what you think your prayer life together should look like and more specifically where and when! For me I felt like I wanted to pull back when we were engaged to maintain our goal of saving all the good stuff for marriage (longest 8 months of my life!!).

4) Married: Marriage prayer has been the best. It actually adds a lot of intimacy to our relationship. I get to hear what my husband is thinking about, experiencing, and learning and vice versa. We have seen God move many really big mountains in our lives because of it. The hardest part of marriage prayer is scheduling as there are so many things to get done (and I go to bed three hours earlier than he does). So every night at 9 PM we take 3-5 minutes and pray together. Once it became a habit, it became something we both can't live without in our marriage.

Whether you are single, married, or somewhere in between, I hope that you make time everyday to connect with your heavenly Daddy. Our words literally have the power to put God into action. It is the most precious time that will shape you, bring change, and move mountains.

{photo: @wanderingwithmary}

About the Author

Gwendolyn is a life, love, and marriage blogger on her site She loves encouraging and connecting with  women to be their best selves in life and to love themselves exactly as God created them to be. She resides in Winnipeg, Canada with her husband Rob and pup Charlie where she has done extensive work in the inner city at non profit organizations. Find Gwendolyn on Instagram at @life_love_lavender_blog 


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