It’s not always easy to be a pastor! Sometimes, people ask pastors to pray for needs that are very hard to meet, especially when it comes to marriage! No wonder why some pastors look to flee when they see a single member of their congregation approaching them.
“Now, I’m really fed up of being single, pray that God will find me a mate right away!” This is one of the worst prayer requests that a pastor can get! Formulated this way, it almost makes the pastor responsible for finding them a partner. As if he had a special anointing to bring them a perfect partner! Your pastor is not a cupid, and his prayers are not love arrows. He is at your service, he is there to take care of you, but he is not your slave either. Always remember that you should respect your pastor (Hebrews 13:17); he is the authority figure in your church, even if he is your friend.
“Fine! Let’s restate this request : “Now, I’m really fed up of being single, could you please pray that God finds me a mate?” Better… the respect for the pastor is there, but the problem with this request is that we are telling God what to do. The pastor is not Cupid…and neither is God! He saved us, He made us His children, not His masters! Philippians 4.6 NIV says : “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” The verse clearly states to present “our requests”, not our demands!
“Okay! So if I say : “Pastor, could you pray for me, please, I’m tired of being single.” Better, we have the respect for the pastor, the control left to God… but there is still an area for improvement. Why ask the pastor to pray for you? Yes, he is connected to God, he can pray for you, but don’t underestimate yourself! God is there for you, He listens to you just as much as your pastor. God only wants us to pray with faith (Matthew 21:22) and in His will (1 John 5:14). Pastor or not, when we are children of God, we all have the same access to the Father.
“Sigh! Can I ask : “Pastor, I’m tired being single, can you pray with me for this problem to be solved?” What problem? Being single? It’s not a problem. It’s not a disease that needs to be cured. It is an indefinite amount of time where a single person has the opportunity to serve God without limits.
Don’t worry, I understand how you feel, it’s not always easy being single. Reaching out to your pastor, or another mature person in Christ, to agree with you in prayer in this difficult time is good. Then what should we ask for? Be frank. “Pastor, my marital status monopolizes my thoughts a lot lately, and even my self-esteem is bruised. Could you pray with me? I want to put God at the center of my life and trust His plans once more. Also, if God sees that I have something to change to be a better candidate, I am ready to hear it.” What pastor could refuse such a request?! God Himself will be touched by your humility and will definitely answer this kind of prayer.