Praying and Fasting.....
I think I have spoken before about my Monday Fasting. I followed this website where women (and now men) prayer for marriage -- but not only pray for marriage, specifically pray for godly men to rise up, godly women to rise up and marriages to develop. This group prays and fasts on monday (either all day or during lunch).
I used to do this on mondays....even when dating someone. I would pray for the men I know, I would pray for my friends, and I would pray for me-- that we would continue to grow and the Lord would provide wonderful healthy marriages. I have gotten lazy with it. I've been busy and quite frankly, I've been so happy with my life-- not just my relationship, but my wonderful friends, my job (knock on wood, as soon as I say job has been good, itll get super stressful), my roomates, etc. So today is my first day back!
The truth is I need to continue praying and fasting-- I'm not married so I should be praying for myself, I should be praying for my friends to meet great guys, and for the men I know to keep growing into good leaders. I also have a host of other friends (married and single) who need prayer. Fasting is an area of our faith and walk with the Lord that many people ignore. The church doesn't emphasize it enough but it is all throughout the Bible. I want to start researching this discipline and make it a part of my life...not only in my monday prayers for marriages and singles, but also in my own life when I have a big decision or problem. Taking it before the Lord, nondistracted, relying only on Him is something good I need to do more often.
So I encourage you to look at this website, particularly if you are single or dating, but also if you have single friends, daughters, sons, siblings, etc that are single and you could pray for and fast from food, facebook, tv, bread, or whatever you chose to fast from on mondays. Also, you could use the time to pray for others that are hurting or waiting for children, jobs, etc.
Praying for others....
One of the most encouraging/powerful things you can do for a person is pray for them -- really pray, not say "I'll pray for you" but really get on your knees for them. Because truth is you can't change their life or heart, but the Lord can. My friend Sarah is happilly engaged to a great guy, but she has made it her goal to pray for her single friends. She started doing it when she was still just dating her now fiance. And we tease her about how well her prayers work...if she makes you her focus, you meet someone soon after. So far, one boy she prayed for met his fiance, another girl is dating the boy I'm pretty certain she will marry, and 2 or 3 more of us are dating. Sarah's prayers aren't what caused this, of course, the Lord brought answers. But I do not think its a coincidence that the Lord chose to answer as prayers were increased. As someone she has prayed for, it has been touching to have a prayer warrior, and has motivated me to be praying for my friends single and married- in all different struggles in their life.
Prayers while running...
I follow another blogger...who recently ran a race that was in memories of those who died. Each mile, she prayed for the family members and friends of one of the men that died. I am currently training for a half. This motivated me to do something similar when running. Nothing formal or specific, but I started to spend some of my time running in prayer...and when I am running races (which will have mile or km markers), I want to dedicate specific miles or km's to praying for someone. When running, thats all you can do, you can't get distracted by laundry or tv or a phone call, you can listen to music, think and run...so if I will be running, I should spend sometime in conversation with my Lord.
This weekend I am running a 10k and want to try praying for someone different each km. Several of these prayers will be single friends...and several will be for those with other struggles. I'm already so excited about this, it feels like my run has more purpose now. If you have any prayer requests, I'd love to pray for you while I run during the week or during the race (and I have another one in 3 weeks!) email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment. And just like I encourage you to try the discipline of fasting, try incorporating prayer time into a daily activity...My sister used her late night nursing time to pray for people, I'm starting to use running, maybe you turn off the tv when you fold clothes and pray, or maybe your morning commute becomes a prayer time. But, the longer I live, the more I believe that praying for others is one of the biggest gifts we can give someone and it provides us with communion with our Father!!