There's no denying that modern-day dating is a minefield, with 75 per cent of Gen-Zers having made the conscious decision to be single.
If it isn't the premature burnout from app-swiping or carrying out pre-date vibe checks, there's still the time-wasting, the money-burning, and the confidence-crushing – followed by the "let's just be friends" icing on the cake.
Okay, that might be a little melodramatic – and in hindsight, it's not all that bad.
But now, a pair of best friends want to help young daters find love elsewhere. Instead of turning to online dating hell, they've released a prayer book to save us all – and judging by how it's going, God could really be our only hope.
Two millennial best friends from New York, Audrey Elledge and Elizabeth Moore, have taken matters into their own hands and curated a book of poetic prayers titled Liturgies for Hope.
Described as verses "that give language to the wonders and wrestlings of the soul," the book is said to invite readers into new depths of honesty and discovery with God.
From 'A Liturgy for Feeling Butterflies' to 'A Liturgy for Loving Someone Who Doesn’t Love You Back,' the book prides itself on having a prayer for everyone – even those struggling to navigate the ups and downs of dating.
The pair released their first series of prayers, initially centred around the turmoil and anxieties of the pandemic, exploring topics such as physical health, worries for loved ones, and even difficulty sleeping. They soon learnt that those concerns transcend the pandemic and were perhaps evergreen to some people's everyday lives.
Subsequently, Audrey and Elizabeth added further prayers to cover even more experiences including words for those in the throes of dating, such as 'A Liturgy for Those Contemplating a Breakup.'
"Dating is so fraught with emotions–from elation to heartbreak and everything in between," they said. "Putting yourself out there to be either accepted or rejected can be so scary, and spirituality can be a source of comfort amid pain and a source of courage amid fear.
"Prayer is a way to connect to a deeper Love that transcends human eros, and satisfies our need for eternal belonging."
Speaking with Indy100, the pair said they hope their book "meets readers exactly where they are." They believe that prayer and poetry work hand-in-hand and are most authentic when they're honest and unafraid to be messy.
"Liturgies are not necessarily a way to find answers to life’s hard questions but rather a helpful tool to navigate through them," they explained, before emphasising that they want readers to know that "God wants to be in conversation with them about the smallest and biggest things in their lives, including the ups and downs of dating."
The pair added: "Whether you’re prepping for a first date, or running into an ex for the first time, waiting for a text, or even falling in love, prayer can be a centring and steadying force, a way to process and vent and receive encouragement to keep going."
Courtesy of Audrey and Elizabeth
Liturgies for Hope appears to be already guiding people in the right direction, too.
One reader poignantly explained how the first liturgy, 'A Liturgy for Loving Someone Who Doesn’t Love You Back' helped him address the grief of unrequited love. He told the authors how the prayer provided him with a unique sense of care, in place of a person who didn't reciprocate tender feelings towards him.
Another shared how she read 'A Liturgy for Those Contemplating a Breakup' a few hours before she and her boyfriend broke up. She praised Audrey and Elizabeth for putting her confusion into words and "allowing her to invite God to steady her heart in the midst of uncertainty."
As for what the future holds, Audrey and Elizabeth plan on releasing a follow-up book liturgies following the success of Liturgies for Hope which you can buy here.
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