It's no secret that for the past few years most of us were dying to get a glimpse of Ciara's prayer. In the wake of the disastrous dating scene, we desperately needed answers, sis. It was evident that God had done it for her, delivered her from Future unto Russell, and we wanted in on the secret. So when Summer Walker released her album and blessed us with Ciara's prayer, it quickly stirred up a frenzy. I went on Instagram and within the hour, at least 20 women I followed had posted it on their Instagram Stories. Let's not even talk about the running commentary ranging from, "I will recite this prayer daily" to "I am going to have it tattooed on me."
While this is commendable that we finally realize that our love lives need Jesus, I felt we were missing the point. That same evening during my quiet prayer time God said to me, "What you need is Russell's prayer in order to see the whole picture." You see we are so accustomed to thinking that women are the only ones that give God their requests for a partner, specifications and all. We forget that just as God is protective of his Queens, he is just as loving and protective over his Kings. God loves his daughters, but if at any point God felt Ciara was not ready to receive Russell, then she was going to have to wait and the opposite scenario would be true.
Both Ciara and Russell had to have a conducive environment within themselves individually and around them in order to envision, manifest and nurture this relationship we now admire. Once I got this, God was like, "I'm not done yet, just so you know the power to deliver what Ciara asked for wasn't vested in what she said. It wasn't her choice of words, her diction, that got the spirit moving." Well, OK so what was it? Stay with me, sis. The following analysis will tell you what you need to know.
Instead of worrying about what Ciara said, our focus should be on what she did to prepare herself for what she had asked for.
Many of us have been where Ciara was, right at the end of ourselves, in pain and in dire need of a breakthrough. It's not enough to decide we want better, we have to do the prep work in order to receive better. Proverbs 18:22 says, "He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord." Please note what is found is a wife, not a girlfriend that can one day be a wife, not a woman who is ready to settle -- a wife! That means you are whole, healed and secure prior to being found.
Earlier on in March this year, Russell was on Ciara's Level Up Radio on Apple talking about he long had a crush on her way before they met. Russell has been vocal on how he once told someone after watching Ciara's video that he would one day end up with her, yet it was a while before they eventually met at a basketball game in 2015 and started dating shortly after.
They both had preparatory work to do and they were each other's answered prayer.
I feel there is a great misconception that Ciara's prayer (or the woman's prayer) is sent out and God then drags Russell to come along your way. As a matter of principle, at some point we have had our own version of this prayer. What differentiates Ciara's is that her actions complemented her prayer. She did not recite the prayer and wait for Russell under another man. She did not recite the prayer and check in with God every second business day if any of the eligible men in her peripheral were the one. What are you doing while you wait?
Are you waiting like we do for online orders? We place an order today and as soon as confirmation comes through, we start tracking. Are you waiting by the door throwing tantrums at the delivery guy for not having that specific package you desperately want? Some of us are missing the work God is doing in other areas of our lives because you become transfixed on that one void in your life.
You are currently living in the realm of an answered prayer from your past. Have you thanked him for that which you already have?
You finally fixed your credit, you finally paid off that student loan, you finally paid off that car note, you finally graduated, you are finally healing, debt-free, you finally got past the childhood trauma, you finally traveled abroad. All of that pales in comparison to your need for companionship?
Ciara's prayer speaks volumes of gratitude. She speaks on being thankful that God hears her pleas, thankful that he hasn't judged her harshly. She is grateful for her son, acknowledging that he is a gift from God. She surrenders her pain but trusts that even the pain holds a valuable lesson for her.
However, what is most profound to me about this prayer is the apparent rapport between God and Ciara.
She attests to the character of God and speaks of his attributes. I don't need to know Ciara personally to confirm this, her words display it. She starts off by saying, "I don't fully understand everything right now, but I know you have great plans for me."
Why yes Cici, for in John 13:7 Jesus says, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand." Jeremiah 29:11 (a personal favorite of mine) says, "But the plans I have for you are to prosper you and not to fail you, to give you a future (pun intended) and a hope."
The very act of committing her pain to God tells me she is aware that he is her foundation and her source, but for everything, not just a source for the relationship she is hoping for. Some of us don't realize God has been paying our bills, uplifting our careers, opening doors and setting our pathways straight. You cannot suddenly relinquish control in one area without allowing access to everything else. Being knowledgeable on the character of God is what distinguishes Ciara's prayer. She knew the abilities of the one she was calling upon.
Ciara knew not only was he able but he was willing to help her navigate through this pain into the relationship she needed.
Please note she didn't ask God to take the pain away, she didn't want to miss the lesson. She didn't ask for God to bring a partner that would heal her or complete her. Furthermore, when it came down to the man she wanted, she wasn't vague about it. Again, she referenced what God himself says about love, what God says about her. It doesn't matter how many times you recite this prayer word for word verbatim, it doesn't matter how desperate you are, if you do not yet have a personal relationship with the one you are praying to. Do you know him, do you know what he says about love but most importantly what he says about you?
Ciara really ought to have made a disclaimer that goes like this and in fine print too, "Here is the prayer but results are sold separately."
Also worth noting she was honest in her surrender to God. She says, "I need you to restore my faith in love, give me strength." Her faith in love had been shaken but she knew God could revive it. In the end, having submitted her pain, confusion and requests, she ends by stating that she is ready.
All she was asking God to dress her man in, she would have to reciprocate. She would have to compliment the type of man she was asking for. God also wants to shelter his sons. Are you ready for what you are pleading for?
Some of us are not ready but we keep barking for Russell. You don't only become ready by declaring you're ready. Some of us haven't grasped the lessons we need to from our past relationships, some of us don't see what we already have, some of us don't know the God Ciara is speaking to here--the one who heals, the one who is able, the one who restores and the one who delivers.
But the worst is, we won't receive Russell if we idolize relationships. We are pursuing the hashtag baecation more than we are pursuing God. Shanice Lawrence worded this beautifully in her tweet, she said, "Make sure you want God more than you want a man OR ELSE that man will be your god. Desiring the blessing more than the relationship with God is how idols are created." I could not agree more.
So to reiterate, the power of Ciara's prayer lies not in her words, the power lies in the one she was praying to, the relationship they have and the knowledge she had on who God is. Find out for yourself who he is. Psalm 34:8 says, "Taste and see that the Lord is good, blessed is the one who takes refuge in him."
I will stay on the lookout for Russell's prayer but while we wait, wait in gratitude, wait in prayer, go to the source and let him fine tune you for what is to come.
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