Isn’t Praying about Sex Kind of Selfish?

This past week, protests in Charlottesville, Virginia quickly became violent, and a young woman was run over and killed. In Barcelona, Spain, fourteen died when an Islamist militant plowed his vehicle into a crowd; a hundred more were injured.

In some regions in the world, starvation is still a real possibility. And disease, civil war, and economic hardship are daily challenges. Christians are persecuted in some nations, all the way to their life being taken. Sex trafficking is happening across the world, and each day children are abused emotionally, physically, and sexually.

My heart breaks just writing about these things. So, in the midst of all of the evil and pain in the world, how can we go to God and ask Him for help with our sex life? Aren’t there way bigger issues worth His time and our focus?

Blog post title + man praying, up close

When I recently asked on Facebook what my readers wanted me to cover about sex and prayer, this is what one commenter said:

I’ve wrestled with this one a bit, but am slowly getting better at understanding that if something is important to me, and is righteous, than it’s important to God. But there is still a nagging feeling in the background when I ask for help regarding our marital intimacy that says, “this isn’t that big a deal, there are people starving in this world, I know this sounds selfish of me…but”.

I know he’s not alone. And it’s a good question: With people starving in the world, isn’t praying about your sex life kind of selfish?

With people starving in the world, isn't praying about your sex life kind of selfish? Click To Tweet

Here are some thoughts to consider.

God is infinitely able to hear our prayers.

We exist in time. We check clocks, keep calendars, make appointments at specific times. All of our to-dos are therefore done in a linear fashion: I take out the trash, then I do the laundry, then I write my post, then I have lunch. I can’t do all of those things at once.

We tend to place God in time too, even though He’s not. In fact, of all the ways to explain this, I think a scene in the movie Bruce Almighty did a really good job. Here’s what might happen if we had to deal with prayers.

But that’s not God. He’s infinitely able to hear and address everyone’s prayers at once, from the plea for justice for a sexually abused child, to the prayer for patience of caregivers whose burden is heavy, to your request to find greater unity in the marriage bed.

Your prayer for your sex life isn’t taking any time or effort away from God dealing with the “big issues.” He’s got it all covered. Because He’s, well, GOD.

C.S. Lewis wrote a fabulous, and more thorough, essay addressing the issue of God’s ability to answer many prayers at once: “Time And Beyond Time” from Mere Christianity. Check it out.

God cares about everything about you.

Have you ever listened in on a conversation of moms talking about their infants or preschoolers? They can describe everything from their child’s major personality characteristics down to exactly what they found in the last diaper. If their child gets a splinter in his precious little finger, they stop everything and tend to relieving that little bit of pain. I consider this a helpful mental picture when I think about God, my Heavenly Parent. He’s totally into everything His kids have got going. And He’s far better at it than we are, so He really can attend to all the poop going on in our lives.

Just listen to these descriptions of how God cares for us:

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways” (Psalm 139:1-3).

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book” (Psalm 56:8, NLT)

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Luke 12:6).

If God is familiar with all of our ways, keeps track of all our sorrows and collects our tears, and has numbered the hairs on our head, I think He cares about our sexual intimacy. Especially since He talks about sex quite a bit in His Word.

Rest assured, He wants to be there. He’s the parent who wants to know every detail and to be the one you come to when you have a splinter in your heart or when things are going well.

God cares about our sex lives.

In this section, I almost want to say, “Go read everything else I’ve ever written about God and sex.” Because it’s basically my entire mission to convince people that God has something to say about our sex lives and that it’s really, really good stuff.

However, I will point to one particular post, which might be an eye-opener for some: Is Christian Sex in Marriage a Threesome?

So many of us have the view that God is present in all these areas of our lives, except the marriage bed; that’s really a private place between husband and wife, no one else invited — including the Big Guy. But that’s neither biblical nor wise. As you saw in the scripture above, God discerns our going out and our lying down, including when we lie down with our spouse. He’s omniscient, meaning He knows what’s going on in your bedroom!

And I simply cannot tell you enough about the positive impact I experience when I realized that God had something to say about every single area of my life — including the bedroom. Aligning my desires with His in my sex life, a goal I still work on, has made all the difference in how I view sexuality and how we experience sexual intimacy in our marriage. If He cares that much, then of course we can talk to Him about it; any part of our sex life is fair game for discussion with God.

Any part of our sex life is fair game for discussion with God. Click To Tweet

I hope this helps make some feel more comfortable talking to God about their sexuality. Don’t worry if it’s awkward at first. Just trust that He listens and cares and answers.

13 thoughts on “Isn’t Praying about Sex Kind of Selfish?

  1. Nick Peters

    I think I pray every day about ours, and one of the main ones is that my wife will experience the full joy of my love for her through sex and she will come to see this more and more as a gift for her to receive.

    To be fair, you could say that that means I get more sex, but one of the greatest benefits of sex to a man is knowing that he has pleased his wife.

    Reply
  2. Doug

    Well said!

    Consider the first command recorded was for husband and wife to have sex.

    The Lord thought sex more important than war for a newlywed man:

    “When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out with the army nor be charged with any duty; he shall be free at home one year and shall give happiness to his wife whom he has taken.”
    ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭24:5‬ ‭NASB‬‬

    Reply
    1. Four Under Four

      Slight correction – sex without birth control was the first command recorded 😉

      But seriously, great thoughts! I appreciate this article!

      Reply
      1. Doug

        Not an insignificant observation. It seems God has made our bodies to instinctively know when conception is a possibility. One author has noted studies which show a marked decrease in a man’s sperm count when masturbating as compared to the same man having uninhibited sex. One has to wonder how the use of contraception may be directly or indirectly contributing to other sexual dysfunctions in men, such as ED.

        Reply
  3. Mike

    Recently I have been thanking God for our sex life. I especially am thanking God for the great gift of ORGASM. It seems that with all the war, violence, starvation, hate, etc. in the world that I need a calming and a healing in my soul. I have found that when I have intimacy with my wife the whole world disappears except for my wife and I. When the world has forced my life out of order, it suddenly comes back into alignment when I have sex with my wife. I can see my priorities and responsibilities more clearly. I see that I need to love God first, and love my wife as Christ loved the Church. That time with my wife and that gift of orgasm just is the most wonderful gift from God. I just have to stop and thank him right then and there on the spot (after a short nap of course).

    Reply
  4. Keelie Reason

    Such great thoughts. It is important that we never minimize what we are struggling with because other people are struggling more. We should always feel confident to talk to God about all of our cares.

    Reply
  5. G

    I’m confident there’s one being who would love for us NOT to pray about our sex lives. He’s got things pretty sewn up in countries riddled with war and starvation — but if he can destroy a marriage, he can destroy a generation. It’s all very C.S. Lewis.

    Reply
  6. Alicia

    I’m sorry to be harsh, but people really think this? Wouldn’t it be more apt to say that not praying about your sex life is pretty foolish. The Enemy is on the prowl for marriages, and what better way to get at them than to make people think it’s selfish to pray about this. Yikes!

    Reply
  7. Joe

    I do think it’s selfish. So many horrible things going on in the world that we should be helping with.

    So sad what this world has come to. Everybody is just focusing on feeling good and having a good time. Every TV show is showing sex now, movies are unwatchable. Now just about every Christian website is focused on sex.

    I wish everybody would get things in perspective, and grow up. What I’ve learned is people grow older, but few grow up.

    Joe

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      Maybe you should tell God to grow up, since the Bible addresses our sexuality over and over and over. You can’t get very far in Genesis without encountering stories that demonstrate what God desires, and doesn’t desire, for this part of our lives. Moreover, the Word says to “cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Surely, that “all” includes our sex lives. Or do you think we should bar God from our bedrooms?

      My Christian website is focused on sex, but it’s a niche to which I feel called by God. I can name many, many Christian sites that rarely address this subject, if at all. And I’m not about “just focusing on feeling good and having a good time.” No, that’s selfishness. Rather, it’s about pursuing intimacy in the marriage bed that honors the One who gave marriages this gift. My goal is to show that being a Christian doesn’t stop at the bedroom doorway; rather, God’s desire for our lives should infuse every part of our lives, from our charitable giving to our compassionate service to our holy worship to our marital intimacy. That, I believe, is a mature faith.

      Many blessings.

      Reply
  8. Joe

    I’m nearing 60. I am over the whole sex is the most awesome thing ever attitude. Never really did understand people who seem consumed by it. A person is not required to give sex his/her entire life. Once you reach your older stages of life you can say no. Does not mean you can’t or don’t show caring and love for your spouse and family.

    I recently was repainting the woodwork at home. I spent hours taping and masking off the windows, the wall,etc. I then spent less than 5 minutes actually spraying the paint on. Kind of an anticlimactic moment and it struck me that this was the exact same thing as sex. The returns hardly delivered on the amount of effort that went in.

    So given all that, yes praying for better sex is selfish. These are first world issues. If we lived in a 3rd world country I hardly feel we’d be praying for better sex. So many more serious needs and issues.

    Joe

    Reply
    1. J Post author

      I completely disagree. And I hear from spouses all the time for whom sex is a place of conflict in their marriage; God wants to be present and healing in that space. Moreover, my post makes it clear that God can handle first world, third world, and any other world issues all at the same time. It’s not an EITHER you pray for starving children OR you pray for sex in your marriage scenario; we can do both!

      My husband had an interesting analogy on this. He asked whether you would tell the grocer that he shouldn’t sell chewing gum because it’s unimportant. Well, of course it doesn’t matter as much as meat and vegetables, but why can’t we have chewing gum too? Why can’t we allow God to grow us in all the areas of our life?

      I’m not talking about obsession with sex or pursuing selfish pleasure. This is about God-given intimacy in marriage.

      Reply

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