The first step in the process of finding an accountability partner is fairly simple:
Pray for one.
Why is that so important? Why can’t we just walk up to our closest friends and say, “Keep me accountable, please?”
3 Reasons Why You Should Pray Before Seeking An Accountability Partner
1. Prayer is humbling.
Let’s face it. One of your number one issues is pride. You have your share of attitude that says, “I don’t need anyone’s help. I can do this on my own.” But please remember that “on your own” is exactly how you ended up where you are. You weren’t meant to fight this battle on your own and your first ally just so happens to be the only One you’ve really offended in all you are doing- God. Besides that, prayer is a great practice on the journey to falling in love with Him.
2. Prayer takes it out of your comfort and control
We like to be in control! Many of us could probably think of someone who might make a good accountability partner but for all the wrong reasons. “She’ll take it easy on me” or “She struggles too” are bad reasons for choosing an accountability partner. We always choose what is comfortable for us or what we can manipulate. It isn’t in our nature to choose what is best for us, but it is in God’s nature. We have to leave the choice up to Him.
3. Only When God is the Foundation Can Accountability be Successful
You may choose Brenda to be your accountability partner, but if God has not prepared Brenda, she will become burnt out trying to help you. There are issues we face as women recovering from lust. Accountability is going to run deeper than calling up and saying, “It’s been 40 days since I fell.” That isn’t accountability; that’s sex addicts anonymous and that isn’t what we do here. Grace isn’t anonymous. It is personal. Therefore accountability must be personal, and it takes the grace and power of an Almight God to give us the ability to extend that grace to each other. Cut Him out and you have a recipe for trouble and failure.
So what, exactly, am I praying for?
Good question! Glad you asked. Many women just don’t know what they need so they don’t know what to look for. It’s like trying to buy an outfit for an event but not knowing anything about it! Here are some things to add bring before the Lord. We’re going to walk through these one by one in this series, but this is your generic prayer list of attributes.
1. Women to women, men to men.
We’re going to touch on this more, but for women it is so easy for us to bond with men and I will explain why in another post, but having a male accountability partner is dangerous for all parties involved. It may seem like a male accountability partner is ‘better’ but in the long run it won’t be.
2. Loves the Lord.
Again, this will be addressed later, but this person should have a testimony of walking with and serving God.
3. Someone who isn’t perfect.
Well, that’s everyone, isn’t it? You’d be surprised though, how many people aren’t willing to be open about their own mistakes. Is she honest about her shortcomings? Not that you have to have a mutual accountability relationship, but you can’t leave room for the devil to plant the seed of fearing judgment in your heart.
4. Someone who speaks my language.
No, we aren’t talking about English here. If you haven’t, grab the book “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. There’s some pretty interesting insights into why we interact the way we do. We all have different environments in which we feel safe.
5. Someone you can respect, not just admire.
Maybe that should have been closer to the top, but the fact of the matter is that all of the other points may be met but this is the most important. If you have a hard time respecting anyone, then you have a heart issue that you need to deal with.
Why does all of that matter? Why share little snippits like this at the beginning?
We have to practice the art of specific prayer. The Bible tells us to let our requests be made known unto God, not to have vague conversation with Him. Starting this practice from the very beginning will help us as we walk this road of freedom!