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What to Pray for Instead of Weight Loss

What to Pray for Instead of Weight Loss

What to Pray for Instead of Weight Loss

Most women have cried out to God in frustration or anguish while standing in one of three places: in front of the mirror, on the scale, or in front of the refrigerator.

We are so quick to judge our appearance and compare it to others or, worse yet, hold it up to the unattainable and unrealistic worldly standard of beauty.

We give so much weight to what the scale says, allowing it to set the tone for our day or, worse yet, allow it to measure our value is women.

We tie up so much headspace with thoughts about food, struggling against what we “should” or “should not” be eating or, worse yet, shaming ourselves when we don't get it “right.”

As Christian women, we know we can take our struggles to God in prayer. So many of us have prayed for losing weight. But what happens when praying for weight loss doesn't work, or those prayers go unanswered? We don’t always know the reason why. But we do know that sometimes we do not receive what we ask for because we “ask with wrong motives” (James 4:3 NIV). 

It can be easy to assume we are asking with the right motives because the diet culture we live in conditions us to believe weight loss is always good and something necessary for health. But those worldly beliefs are false. Moreover, for most women, our true motivation for wanting to lose weight comes from a deeper, darker place.

When the Lord brought me face to face with my own true motivation for wanting to lose weight, He brought to light a dark corner of my heart where I falsely believed I needed to lose weight to be good enough. He revealed how I allowed the lies of diet culture to entangle my body with my identity and to enslave me to seek skinny as my security and satisfaction. 

But God loved me too much to answer prayers coming from that dark corner of my heart. Instead, in His great mercy, he illuminated my life with the light of His love and helped me surrender dieting and weight loss.

I want to challenge you to try something new this year and join me on this path to follow Jesus, not diets. Instead of praying for weight loss, pray these prayers instead. You might just uncover God’s best for your true health and well-being.

Photo Credit: © Getty Images/Tero Vesalainen

Pray for Eyes of Faith

Pray for Eyes of Faith

As Christian women, our body image problems are not problems with our physical bodies, but with how we see our bodies. Whether we gain weight or lose weight, worldly eyes will always find something to judge, criticize, and shame ourselves over. Worldly eyes will always keep an unhealthy focus on appearance. 

When we find ourselves standing in front of the mirror, unsatisfied with what we see, let’s remember that we don’t need to change our bodies, but we do need to change the way we see ourselves. Instead of praying for weight loss, let’s pray for eyes of faith to see ourselves as God sees us.

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7 ESV).

Pray that the Lord will change your interactions with the mirror so they become opportunities to see what God sees: an accepted and loved child, not a body.

With eyes of faith we can see the bodies we have right now (not ten pounds from now) with gratitude, and praise God for creating us in His image. 

With eyes of faith we can see beyond our bodies with gratitude and praise God that our identity is in Christ and not in what we see in the mirror.

With eyes of faith we can have a better biblical body image, which is more about the image of God and less about the body.

For more on this topic, check out the 5 Tips for a Better Biblical Body Image here. 

Prayer for Eyes of Faith:

Lord, forgive me for looking too much at the outward appearance with worldly eyes. Please grant me eyes of faith to see myself as more than a body. Bless me with eyes of faith to see myself as You see me. Help me to see myself as Your masterpiece, created anew in Christ Jesus, so I can do the things You planned for me long ago. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Pray for Healing

Pray for Healing

Sweet sister, the only weight you need to lose is the weight of shame and pain that you're carrying. Instead of praying for weight loss as you step on that bathroom scale, pray that God will heal that core wound or false belief that is making you believe you need to lose weight in the first place. 

Maybe it's a childhood trauma of being bullied for your size. Maybe it was a devastating breakup that made you question whether you are lovable. Maybe it's just exhaustion from living in a diet culture that tells us we have to constantly hustle for worthiness. 

For me it was all three compounding over time. But instead of acknowledging or caring for my wounds, I covered them over with dieting. I believed that losing weight would protect me from more pain. I believed that losing weight would help me feel accepted, lovable, and good enough; but I was wrong. 

Dieting became a distraction and a superficial solution that never brought me true comfort and restoration. But when I laid down dieting and opened my life up to God fully, He was able to heal those underlying wounds that were driving the dieting. 

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalms 147:3 ESV). 

Whatever your hurt or ache, it needs healing that only God can offer. Don’t waste time and effort trying to cure yourself from the outside in. Give that underlying wound to God and let him transform you from the inside out.

Prayer for Healing:

Lord, I lay my pain and shame down today at the foot of the cross. Help me to leave it there and not pick it up again. I invite your light, love and compassion into my deepest hurts. I ask You to heal my wounds as only You can. Please restore me with your loving kindness. Help me to remember You are my healer and Father. Help me to live like I am your accepted and loved daughter.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Pray for True Health

Pray for True Health

Standing in front of the refrigerator, many of us have prayed a dieter’s prayer. We’ve prayed for the willpower to not eat something right in front of us that we were secretly dying to eat. We’ve prayed for help when we were stuck in analysis paralysis, terrified of making the wrong food choice. But these dieter’s prayers keep us focused on weight loss to the exclusion of true health and abundant life. 

You are made for more than constant stress and struggling around food. Diets will keep you stuck in that struggle, but that's not where God wants you to be. Instead of praying for weight loss, pray for God to bless you with true health. 

True health is not just physical, but includes your whole being. So if your overall well-being suffers because of how you relate to food and your pursuit of weight loss, any minimal physical health benefits need to be weighed against the cost of your emotional, mental, and spiritual health.

When you follow Jesus, not diets, you reject the diet mentality and make peace with food, you learn to listen to and trust your body’s signals, and you respect your body as a gift to be stewarded well. True health looks and feels like peace and confidence in your choices on how to care for yourself.

In true health, the mind, body and soul are in alignment and you’re able to live your priorities with the understanding that your health and how you care for yourself is meant to glorify God and not glorify you.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV).

Once you realize and truly understand that your health is bigger than your food choices and your weight, you can pray accordingly. Ask God to show you what true health looks like for you in this season of life and pray to keep yourself in alignment with His will. 

From a place of true health, when you stand in front of the refrigerator you will overflow with thanksgiving to God for His provision, for the incredible access to food He’s given you, and for the ability to eat things you enjoy in celebration of His gift of food.

Prayer for True Health:

Lord, I want to love you with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Show me how I can honor You with every facet of my health. Help me surrender my desire for weight loss and discover true health, regardless of the number on the scale. Lead me to cultivate healthy behaviors that renew my mind, refresh my soul, and steward my body, so that I may fulfill Your purpose for my life and glorify You alone. 

When you have biblical body image, you'll see yourself as God sees you and know what your body is for - serving your purpose, not looking a certain way - so weight loss becomes inconsequential. Once God heals the part of you that falsely believes you need to lose weight, you won’t want to diet anymore. You won’t waste time praying for weight loss when you understand that true health is not dependent on the number on the scale and is so much bigger. 

I invite you to set aside any old prayers for weight loss and instead pray for eyes of faith, pray for healing, and pray for true health. I expect these prayers will serve you and serve the Lord in ways you can’t even imagine yet. They have for me.

Erin L. Todd is a wife, dog mom, attorney-by-day and writer-by-night living in St. Petersburg, Florida. As a redhead who battled insecurity and body image issues for over 30 years, she now claims the concept of being both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously. Her blog “Ginger In Progress” was born from a spiritual awakening where Jesus set her free from diet prison. Now she is on a mission to empower and equip women to Follow Jesus Not Diets. Find out more about Erin and grab your free Intuitive Eating Starter Kit for Christian Women HERE

This article is part of our Prayer resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray.

Serenity Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer

Irish Blessings & Prayers

Morning Prayers

Good Night Prayers

Prayer for Healing

Prayer for Protection

Prayer for God’s Help

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Prayer for Strength

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About Health & Beauty

God's Word tells us that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit, that outward beauty is deceptive and fleeting while inward beauty is unfading and of great worth. It doesn't take long to look at today's media and see how the world is trying to convince us otherwise! Read uplifting and encouraging real life stories from Christian women about true beauty and health. Start seeing yourself as the women God created you to be!