Why you should pray for your future spouse

“Pray for your future spouse.” It’s a beautiful phrase which often serves as a reminder to entrust everything to God – including our love lives. But more often than not we hear the phrase in the low points of singleness, when we’re encouraged to ask God to bring us the spouse we long for.

The problem with that is we risk getting so caught up in our own desires that we forget what we’re really praying about: a person! Sometimes we focus so much on the future that we forget they already exist. They’re the same person now as they will be when you meet them—they get out of bed every morning, go to work or school, spend time in prayer, practise hobbies and hang out with friends… And they have needs and desires! Instead of just prayers of petition for ourselves, we should be offering up prayers of intercession for our future spouses.

Around December last year I felt the Lord urging me to pray a novena for my future husband. I don’t know who he is yet, I don’t know what was happening in his life at that time, but I do know that for whatever reason he needed my prayers. Because I love the person he will be on our wedding day, I love the person he is right now—so I continue to pray for his growth with God and for his protection from the enemy.

I want to encourage you to pray for your future spouse, rather than simply praying to have them!

1. Seeing your future spouse as a real person will keep you focused in your pursuit of purity.

When the person you will marry becomes real in your mind rather than an abstract concept, they provide the motivation to resist temptation and save yourself for them. You know the heart of who you’re waiting for, even if you don’t yet know their name, height or hair color.

2. Praying for their needs will prepare you for the total gift of self that is marriage.

When you get married, and even more so if you have children, you will need to very quickly adapt to having more than just yourself to worry about, and sometimes having to put your own desires lower down the priority list. Replacing prayers for what you want with prayers for what they need is the first step.

3. Not focusing on your own desires helps you to put your trust in God.

You may feel you’re called to marriage, but only God knows when that will be. Demanding instant gratification in the romance department won’t alter God’s plan to prosper you. So instead of offering God a comprehensive list of qualities you need in a partner (with an N.B. that you’d prefer them all by next Easter), try thanking Him for the person they are and praying into their current situation… whatever that might be.

You might be thinking “soppy, overly-romantic, idealistic.” Well, anyone that knows me will tell you I’m none of those things. For me, praying for my future husband isn’t a way of “coping” with singleness, it’s an assertion in advance of my equal status in our relationship and prayer life. I believe that the power of a couple’s prayers for each other secures their relationship.

What if I don’t get married?

Your prayers are never wasted! You are, first and foremost, a bride of Christ—so if your vocation doesn’t involve marriage, then your prayers will be offered up to your holy spouse (Jesus) anyway. As the idea is already to pray for needs that we don’t fully understand, only Jesus will know what good your prayers do for humanity through Him.

Try adding your future spouse to your prayer list, or offering up a prayer whenever you think about them, and see how your perspective changes! Pray for blessings on their life, pray for their safety and security, pray for their faith and relationship with Jesus. Most of all pray for them, rather than your desire for them.

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imgassd Esther Rich is in her final year studying Psychology at Oxford University, UK. She loves Theology of the Body, Papa Francesco and a good worship band. She is passionate about empowering women to be who they were created to be, and blogs at “For Such A Time As This.”

80 Comments

  1. Love it! Thank you 🙂

    By Deana Ramirez | 2 years ago Reply
  2. Thank you for the advice =)

    By Estephany Cordova | 2 years ago Reply
  3. is there a way I can pray for a future girlfriend?

    By Dan Wallace | 2 years ago Reply
    • Here’s one prayer for your future wife obtained from this website: http://www.mitchelstownparish.ie/young_people_prayers.html

      Loving Father, if I am called to the sacramental life of matrimony, hear my prayer now for the person who will be my spouse. Be with her today and every day. Help her through the challenges of becoming an adult and send my support in prayer through any difficulties. In this way, may I genuinely love this person even before we meet. I ask for help ahead of time to be respectful and honourable when we meet and begin a relationship. I ask for help ahead of time to be faithful, supportive, strong, and as loving as I can be when we are married. If I am privileged to help create new human beings, I pray today for my children. You exist outside of time, and you know who they will be, so I can pray for them now. Help me to do everything I can now to become the best parent I can be for them, from the day they are born to the day you call me home to heaven. Amen

      By Joan | 2 years ago Reply
      • I love it!

        By nonjabulo | 2 years ago Reply
    • Ofcourse!I think a better idea would be praying for your future wife…a girlfriend may come and go but a wife would be for a lifetime…:)

      By krizia | 2 years ago Reply
  4. Good article! But sometimes praying does not seem to be enough…it’s complicated

    By Javier Celi | 2 years ago Reply
  5. what if you’re already dating someone? is it still good to pray the novena for your future spouse whether it be the person you’re dating or someone else?

    By janique | 2 years ago Reply
    • Hi Janique,
      I would say pray for your future spouse without a specific notion of who they are even if you’re dating someone. Of course your boyfriend at the time may end up being the one that you were praying for all along, but God may also have other plans that you don’t know about. If you are in a relationship you can combine the prayer for your future spouse with a prayer for discernment about whether they are that person.
      God bless you!

      By Esther Rich | 2 years ago Reply
    • Yes yes yes!! It is still important to pray fro your husband. You can pray also for your boyfriend/girlfriend. But praying for your husband keeps in perspective that maybe who you’re with now isn’t who you’re meant to marry, it puts everything in God’s hands. Your husband may still need your prayers while you’re dating someone else. And if you’re lucky enough, that the person you are dating right now is, in fact, your future husband than good! Double prayers! Who wouldn’t want that?!

      By Michelle | 2 years ago Reply
    • Janique: the short answer is yes! There are fewer ways that I can bring to mind to surrender oneself to the will of God than to pray for one’s future spouse, open to the fact that it may not be ones current significant other.
      This prayer is both a meaningful prayer and a means of self-sacrifice.

      By Steve | 2 years ago Reply
      • *few better ways

        By Steve | 2 years ago Reply
    • Yes, 🙂 because in praying, you get to answer your questions, because God enlightens you. Don’t worry if the one you are dating right now is the person God has destined for you. There’s no such thing as “meant to be” or “not meant to be”. rather you pray for that person that God may make him the right person for you. You’ll know if God allowed it if when you think of him, you feel peace just as God give peace to your heart when you pray. You will have the desire to truly take good care of that person just the same as God wanted the best for you, to love and take good care of you. And because you stayed in love with God, you’ll be capable to find true love in that person you choose to be with. Just listen to God and you will be certain that what you feel is true 🙂

      By Mae | 2 years ago Reply
  6. I really love this article! I can relate to this. I have always been praying for my future husband when I was still single if God wants me to get married. Now I am happily married to a wonderful, loving and caring husband.
    You have done a good job! Great article! 🙂

    By Suzette | 2 years ago Reply
  7. Awesome article!

    By Shane | 2 years ago Reply
  8. Do you have a perspective from men sides? A very nice insight

    By ernest | 2 years ago Reply
  9. I think in your head you should translate girlfriend/boyfriend to future wife/husband.
    The goal of a girlfriend/boyfriend is to move towards engagement and then spouse, right?

    By Nathan | 2 years ago Reply
  10. So true; I forget that my own friends are existing/living life when we aren’t in the same room. It really is difficult to envision that they are, at this moment, already on the same planet as you. From our single perspective, people only flesh out into existence when we see them with our own eyes.

    By J | 2 years ago Reply
  11. I love your article. God bless you.

    By Esmeralda Martinez | 2 years ago Reply
  12. Beautifully said. Thank you for sending the message of truth out. You are a light in this world and an inspiration to women. Keep it up girlfriend! 🙂

    By Danielle | 2 years ago Reply
  13. TOTALLY agree with this article. I remember when this realization became clearer to me, it completely changed my prayer life. And strangely, I found myself praying for rather specific needs I “thought” my future husband might be having in the moment I was praying. I found out later, that those specifics were actually true. I think the Holy Spirit was taking advantage (in a good way) of my desire to figure out my future husband intentions and actually gave me a REAL heads up and his needs. It really prepared me for a wonderful relationship that I currently enjoy with my husband and it’s much easier to resolve conflicts and grow with him, because of that earlier prayer “training” for HIM… as a person. I’d highly recommend it to everyone.

    In answer to Janique… I’d say YES. If you’re already dating someone do that novena. I did that while dating and found that discernment was handled more quickly… meaning I figured out they weren’t the right guy rather fast. When I met my husband the discernment was just as quick, but in the opposite direction. Quick hint to anyone trying to figure it out… whoever inspires the most PEACE is the right choice. =) If when you’re praying about someone, everything inside of you calms and you find yourself MORE acutely focused on them and LESS focused on yourself in a petty way, …. it’s a good sign. It means real “LOVE” is being infused inside of you by the Holy Spirit.

    God’s Providence over everyone seeking that right soul to entangle yourself with…lol. God is good and will form our hearts the right direction.
    BLESSINGS!!

    By Monique | 2 years ago Reply
  14. This is wise to do. This is being thoughtful of the person God brings into your life for you to marry. It takes the” I want” out of it. In this way you are giving the whole thing to God and trusting Him.

    By Dina Maciejczyk | 2 years ago Reply
  15. What if we’re called to be a priest/nun? We’d be praying for…NO ONE?

    By Ian | 2 years ago Reply
    • ^^ Oh…Maybe I should have read the article. I wish there was a delete post button…..

      By Ian | 2 years ago Reply
  16. Great insight!Thanx a lot!!

    By Anand | 2 years ago Reply
  17. Thanx a lot! Great insight!!

    By Anand | 2 years ago Reply
  18. Thanx a lot!!

    By Anand | 2 years ago Reply
  19. Thanx a lot

    By Anand | 2 years ago Reply
  20. I’ve been praying for almost a year and a half. Will continue to pray for God knows the perfect timing to bring us to meet one another and if we have met already He will open our eyes and hearts to each other with a true friendship filled with trust , dignity and purity…….

    By Chrissy | 2 years ago Reply
  21. I also keep a prayer journal for my future husband… filled with prayers for him and things I want to make sure he knows later. Encouragement, how I’m growing and changing and seeing God at work in my life now, and yes, sometimes I also write about how hard it can be to have faith that he’s out there and some of the struggles I have with being single… but I want to be honest with him always, which includes now.

    By Susan | 2 years ago Reply
    • I just started to cry when I heard you on Klove radio taiklng about your unborn son Jonah. I can’t believe the believing power you have and I do believe God is going to use this time to show His great power so everyone can see that He is a True God and Faithful and Loving, all at the same time. Yes, He does answer pray, especially the ones who truly believe in Him. I had an abortion when I was barely 18 and it cause me to never have childern. I love childern very much and every chance I get around kids I like to tell them about Jesus and how much He loves them. May God richly bless you for what you are doing beyond healing your beautiful son Jonah!!!!!!!!!! I can’t stop crying

      By Wikuu | 2 years ago Reply
  22. As a mom of 7 beautiful children, I also pray for the families of my children’s future spouses. It is really hard to live out the holy family life to which we are called so I often pray for peace in those relationships…just a thought

    By Angela | 2 years ago Reply
  23. Why should we pray for our spouse to be if God already knows our deepest thoughts and desires and He already knows who are we going to be since we were born and who our partner in life going to be. Why don’t we just give thanks for whoever and whatever comes in our way as we always say it’s there or it happened for a reason right??? We should just praise and give thanks for everything that comes our way wether it’s bad or good for sure there will be lessons to learn either way and God won’t give you a cross that you can not carry.

    By Walter albertsen | 2 years ago Reply
  24. Thank you all for your comments; which helps and encourages to understand the importance being SINGLE. Thanks Again. God bless you all

    By Emmanuel | 2 years ago Reply
  25. Amen! Loved the last bit that answered what if I don’t get married! Thank you for your post. 🙂

    By Karla | 2 years ago Reply
  26. As an NBSB (no boyfriend since birth) I do pray for him to God to always keep him safe. Great article!

    By LEA | 2 years ago Reply
    • Well, Lea, God is wise. For each NBSBs girls like you, there are NGSBs (No girlfriend since birth) guys like me, out there. So both boys and girls like you
      and I share this very same problem. Only God knows why he has allowed it
      to happen to us, but I deeply and sincerely wish to find a wife from the deepest
      bottom of my heart and I’m not giving up upon my lifelong hope despite all the
      long time that has happened. Mine is out there somewhere right now! I’m just
      praying God to allow me to find her soon. And yes, God hears your prayers and
      keep us boys safe and chaste, in wait for Mrs. Right. God bless you dearly!

      By Marcelino Montas | 2 years ago Reply
  27. Hy! I am from Argentina, this article is incredible!!!

    By Maria de las Carreras | 2 years ago Reply
  28. Thanks for spreading this practice. One woman and four little girls have been the focus of one of the nightly prayers my sons and I have offered for several years. All of these precious ladies are, as yet, unknown to any of us.

    It’s simple and quick, but I believe it gets the job done. “Dear Lord, watch over our future wives. Protect them from harm, protect them from sin, and help us to recognize them when we meet them. Amen.”

    I do more on my own for my future wife, fasting and such, but this simple prayer has at least gotten the boys into the habit of seeing their future wives as alive in the here an now, in need of their prayers.

    By Jeff | 2 years ago Reply
  29. What a beautiful article. I love this and will share it with many. God has blessed you with wisdom and insight. Blessings to you and your future.

    By Kim | 2 years ago Reply
  30. Lovely! Thank you

    By Catherine | 2 years ago Reply
  31. He who finds a friend finds a treasure. I am having trouble praying for a real female friend to whom I guess that would make a reciprocal friendship able to grow into more than that…but I am surprised to the degree real friendships exist in the real life. I am not surprised why instead of practicing faith, hope and love…I simply cannot but realize that marriage is more of a gift. If you have someone who you know is more than your friend, please love them and practice loving your enemies as Christ told us to love them, so that your mutual love may be guaranteed by the love of Christ into what I hope and pray defines love unconditional for man and woman. “Only the chaste man and the chaste woman are capable of true love” Lord make me love you above all things to help me correspond to your love and help others do the same. Thank you!

    By Rene | 2 years ago Reply
  32. Really, really beautiful. Thanks and blessings!

    By Jorge | 2 years ago Reply
  33. I have been praying for further spouse but end up divorced after 14 years of marriage. I thought he is the one and I marry him? Marriage was nothing but abuse. Is that what I was praying for? Now praying for new husband and dated couple guys and we didn’t end up married. How to recognise man that is real sent from God.

    God bless you.

    Draga

    By Draga | 2 years ago Reply
  34. Personally I don’t think there is a person out there for me. Im sorry but if god wanted me too find someone then it would have happened already. There is no god and women only want your money. im sorry if that offends anyone but its 100% true. I saw a girl at the bar that I like an she didn’t even acknowledge me so that means theres no point in trying for a future spouse or whatever.

    By Eric denney | 2 years ago Reply
  35. Janique, of course you should continue to pray for your future spouse even if you have a significant other! If your current s.o. isn’t your future spouse the prayers are still going to be offered for the future and if they are the same person all the better! You don’t syop praying ever 🙂

    By maggie | 2 years ago Reply
  36. It is excellent article.
    An article to contain very useful advices and encouragements.

    🙂

    By Mateja | 2 years ago Reply
  37. Excellent. This has helped me to think of my future wife differently. I’ve been praying rosaries for my future wife for a few years now. But this helped change one of my intentions from “whoever she may be” to “whoever she is”. Feels much more real.

    By Ned | 2 years ago Reply
  38. Fantastic! I didn’t think it was cheesy at all. I’ve started to do this. Thank you!

    By Marie | 2 years ago Reply
  39. Thank you for such a beautiful article. It is so insightful it has completely altered my way of thinking

    By John | 2 years ago Reply
  40. Thank you, I find it very helpful. God bless you.
    Gisselle

    By Gisselle | 2 years ago Reply
  41. A blessing to read your article and a beautiful reminder . Thank you!

    By Susan Axe | 2 years ago Reply
  42. can someone explain whats wrong with sex outside of marriage? I mean sure 2000 years ago when contraception was unavailable and women relied on men to earn an income/provide food and protection it seemed like a good idea. Just like not killing one another, not stealing or lying is a good idea. However times have changed, contraception is encouraged and subsided by government, sex outside of marriage is beneficial to a relationship if done safely. So why does a website like this even exist?

    By Sethe evans | 2 years ago Reply
    • I’m probably not the best person to answer your questions but seeing as no one else has yet I’ll try my best.
      There are many ways I could try to answer ‘What is wrong with sex outside marriage?’ For Catholics it’s mainly about sex being something given by God and with a clear purpose to unite a couple (or ‘benefit a relationship’ if you dont mind me using your words) and also to produce children. These two purposes are clear to us from nature – sex is the only natural way of conceiving children and it also forms part of a loving relationship. From a Catholic perspective BOTH these purposes are a fundamental part of sex. Child bearing is best kept in marriage as a stable, loving family environment.

      BUT even if this doesn’t seem to provide a good answer to your question, allow me to turn it around – What’s good about keeping sex for marriage? – In having sex you give your body to another person, you become physically and emotionally linked in the most intimate way. What price can you put on this? a few months commitment? a changed relationship for a few weeks? Is it not a beautiful and loving thing to save this gift for the one you will stay with forever? Lifelong love and commitmet is surely the highest value you can give to your body and I can assure you – you are worth waiting for.
      I hope this makes some kind of sense and I thank you if you have taken the time to read all this. As I see it, it’s not about why is sex outside marriage bad – it’s about why saving sex for marriage is even better.
      (By the way ‘a website like this’ exists to explain this sort of thing much better than I can – why not watch some of the videos and articles :))

      God bless you.

      By C | 2 years ago Reply
  43. Wow…this was an eye opener. ..Thanks

    By Arts | 2 years ago Reply
  44. Easier said than done but a good read…your early 20s post-college are probably the most lonliiest/frustrating times of your life..

    By George Hollandale | 2 years ago Reply
  45. Thank you for this article! It was a great reminder what we, as single people, need to keep in mind. There are instances where I catch myself longing to meet my future spouse but I know when the time is right and God sees it fit, it will happen. In this season of singleness, I am so thankful for the women of good faith that are in my life and going through some of the same experiences as me. Together we have helped each other grow in our faith and be the woman God wants each of us to be.

    By Tanya | 2 years ago Reply
    • Pray without seeking and be encouraged.

      By Julia Thomas | 2 years ago Reply
  46. Esther,

    This article was exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it. Thank you for sharing your experience, your heart, and your relationship with God. Also keep on writing.

    By Joeforshort | 2 years ago Reply
  47. I was involve in dating but now I’m single so if I pray that person come back to my mind so wat to do wit something like that

    By excellent | 2 years ago Reply
  48. Is it okay to pray for a specific type of woman that one is attracted to, say, a brunette with medium build for example. Also, if one is strongly attracted to a certain physical characteristic in the opposite gender could this not be the desire that the Lord put in one’s heart.

    By randy | 2 years ago Reply
  49. Thanks Esther remain blessed!!!

    By Samuel | 2 years ago Reply
  50. Amen and thank you

    By Maya | 2 years ago Reply
  51. Amen and thank you for these read

    By Maya | 2 years ago Reply
  52. Thank you so much for sharing this!
    God bless you and I will keep praying for you.

    By -_-Sleepy | 2 years ago Reply
  53. Thank you! Right now I dont know my vocation but i usted to think that i was praying for my future husdand but i have not realized that my future husband already exist so this article help me a lot. Know i see more clearly and i can focus my prayers. Thank you . Muchas Bendiciones

    By Katya Najarro | 2 years ago Reply
  54. I love this website.

    By Julia Thomas | 2 years ago Reply
  55. Lord,

    I pray that you bless me with a loving, caring, passionate, compassionate, fun, humble, confident, humourous, hard working, attractive husband who knows himself and is secure in himself!. Who knows my worth, protects and provides for me. I reallu and simple and just want to be happy and loved and experiance joy! And to have a partner to raise a beautiful, smart, creative, and loving family with. Lord I look to you for every thing and you are my stregthen! I pray this to you already believing that you have provided me with my spouse, knowing that you have already taken care of my needs, knowing that I am alreadt in your comfort. Lord I love you and thank you in advance for who you are and where you are about to take me!

    By Queen E | 2 years ago Reply
  56. and If that person happens to be Nupeir Garret, lord I pray that i am receptive and listening to your word. You say to ask for what we want and not to fear. So that is what I am awaiting… Corect me lord in advance if thats not it.
    Peace, love, and happiness

    By Queen E | 2 years ago Reply
  57. I’m so glad that I found your post. It is filled with great advice that I will take on. Do you have a link for the novena that you have been praying for your future husband? Thank you

    By Anna | 2 years ago Reply
  58. Dear God,
    Please help me find my future husband. I need your help and guidance for this man to show and talk to me today. I have dated but none are serious yet that I can see or hear from them. Bring this gentlemen to me I am lonely and need my mate, lover, soulmate, husband in my life. I am getting older and want to be married. AMEN

    By MR | 2 years ago Reply
  59. wow I love this….”Most of all pray for them, rather than your desire for them.”

    By Maryke | 2 years ago Reply
  60. I love dis No 3. Not focusing on your own desires helps you to
    put your trust in God.
    You may feel you’re called to marriage, but only God knows
    when that will be. Demanding instant gratification in the
    romance department won’t alter God’s plan to prosper you.
    So instead of offering God a comprehensive list of qualities
    you need in a partner (with an N.B. that you’d prefer them all
    by next Easter), try thanking Him for the person they are and
    praying into their current situation… whatever that might be. Is so inspiring, all I need is to focus on God for d best

    By kachi Joy | 2 years ago Reply
  61. Hi Esther! Very insightful article. Thank you for putting a different spin on waiting and prayer for a future spouse. Thanks for reminding me that marriage is not all about me but Jesus and my future husband.

    By DJ Johnson | 2 years ago Reply
  62. Thank you :). You’re a blessing 🙂

    By Sue | 2 years ago Reply
  63. so inspiring 🙂

    By geLatins | 2 years ago Reply
  64. Beautiful article. Thanks a lot. God bless.

    By Lestet | 2 years ago Reply
  65. Hello, i am 54 years old and i have never been in a serious relationship nor do i have any children, but i do like women and i do want to get married!!! I have been shy and very picky all of my life!!! I was called into the ministry 34yrs. ago but i have backslidden and stopped going to church regularly because I am not married yet plus i don’t have any parents or children!!!!I have been praying for years for a wife and i even have been seeking, but nothing has happened!!! I also have a lustful spirt at times!!!! Lord help me!!!!

    By anthony skaggs | 2 years ago Reply
    • Trust in the Lord Anthony, all will be well with you.

      By Gabby | 2 years ago Reply
  66. Very Nice

    By Ken Vaughn | 2 years ago Reply

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