One of my favorite topics to write or teach about is how God has a purpose for every relationship, a purpose for our emotions, desires and attractions. In one talk, called The Purpose of Attraction, I use a prayer template to illustrate how to start talking with God about our desires and attractions. I offer that prayer exercise here with the challenge to the reader to use it as a springboard to talk with God more and more often about your deepest hopes and fears about your sexuality. I start with an excerpt from John Gaynor Banks’ Meditation on Desire. Banks is a pioneer in reviving the practice of spiritual healing in 20th century Christendom:
“MASTER: ‘Desire is a mighty force, one of your most divine attributes! Whatsoever things you desire, when you pray, believe that you have received them and you shall have them! See the Godlike quality of desire. For it is part of the Atomic Energy of the soul. The Kingdom of Heaven within you is operated through desire. Do not quench it or crush it or suppress it. Rather offer it to Me. Offer Me your most elementary desires, your craving for happiness, for love, for self-expression, for well-being, for success, for joy, on any level of your being – offer these desires freely and without shame to Me and I will transmute them so that you will achieve release and fulfillment and complete freedom from frustration.’ “¹
Sample prayer written by Mary Heathman about attraction:
I am praying to: the Lord Jesus, who has been tempted in every way that I have (Hebrews 4:15);
I am praying to: my Father in heaven, who created me and knows me inside and out (Ps 139:13);
I am praying to: the Holy Spirit who has promised to guide me into all truth (John 16:13).
Lord God, you know everything; I need to be taught by You.
Teach me about Your purposes for my sexuality.
Teach me the truth about who I am as a person.
Teach me what it means to be male or female,
And how You designed us to be with one another.
John Banks says you can handle hearing from us about our most basic desires. And when we offer them to You without shame, offer them freely, then You can transmute them (change, alter, transform them to a higher form.) I believe this is true! I am sorry I have been silent about my desires. Here, Lord, here they are, just the way they appear to me, take them, Lord, and make them into the beautiful things You designed them to be.
In your own words…
In your own words, being specific, offer your most basic thoughts and desires (regarding attraction) to God:
“Lord, I know that I need You to sort out all my thoughts and desires, to make sense of them and explain them to me. I know I need to be taught by You; I need to learn about myself, others, about Your original intent for male and female gender, about your plan for relationships. Change my heart to reflect your heart on all these things. I pray all this in the name of Jesus Christ, son of the living God! AMEN”
¹This first appeared in Sharing magazine, the Order of St. Luke’s journal on healing, August 1950.