A Single person who has been praying for a spouse for years and years, sent me an email about it. I was not sure what to say, for once, because I am not really in the spouse-finding business. I found a spouse not because I am wise, witty, wonderful, well-dressed, well-proportioned, addicted to the internet or any of those things. I found a spouse because God willed it to be so. My task, I feel, is to help Singles accept Singlehood as God's gift to them, even if it turns out to be a temporary gift.
In theology school, I discovered there were two camps on the subject of impassibility of God. There was the orthodox camp, strictly followed by my professors, that God was impassible and omnipotent, and He didn't change His mind. Then there was the squishy camp, which came dangerously close to saying that God was helpless before evil, just weeps along with us when we suffer, and makes things up as He goes along. (There is a proper name for the squish, but as I disagree with it, I have forgotten what it is called. It has something to do with a man named Whitehead. Process theology?)
As a result of wanting to distance myself from the squishy camp, I decided that the best petitionary prayer is "Not my will, but Yours be done." Sometimes I waffle, because I don't know if I should pray for a baby or not. There is certainly a lot of petitionary prayer in Scripture, including for babies. Perhaps the best plan is to say "Please, may I have a baby? But not my will, but Yours be done."
Anyway, here is the prayer I suggested to my reader in place of his/her prayer for a spouse. I first said it when I was writing my Seraphic Single blog in Boston, so you can call this the Seraphic Single's prayer, if you like. But I think this covers all kinds of life plans, especially life plans that involve other people.
Dear Heavenly Father, You know me and love me better than I know and love myself. I trust that you know better than I do what is best for me. Please help me to accept Your will and to find the happiness that You wish for me, whatever it is, in Jesus' Name. Amen.