Unselfish praying for Valentine’s Day

Put away the chocolate and redeem the day! These are prayers that celebrate love, not just warmed-up romance and couples.

  1. Remembering where love comes from

    God of wonder and of joy:
    grace comes from you,
    and you alone are the source of life and love.
    Without you, we cannot please you;
    without your love, our deeds are worth nothing.
    Send your Holy Spirit,
    and pour into our hearts
    that most excellent gift of love,
    that we may worship you now
    with thankful hearts
    and serve you always with willing minds;
    through Jesus Christ our Lord.
  2. Not a prayer for the ‘loved up’

    I pray today for those in love, those out of love, and those in between. I remember especially those who find themselves a little bit lonelier than normal.
    Lord, I do not pray today for loved-up couples, exchanging overpriced flowers and foil-wrapped hearts, leaking pheromones like diesel fumes at candlelit dinners. I’m pretty sure they will be OK (for now).
    Instead, I hereby dedicate this happy-crappy day to anyone caring for a loved-one with a chronic illness of body, mind or soul. Lord let them be a little bit more okay because I prayed.
    Flame of Love, melt our tiny, tinny chocolate hearts. Wherever marriages have grown cold, calloused with conflict or mired in the mundane, would you please rekindle the fires of true romance?
    Attend to the elderly gentleman gazing at a fading sepia photograph in a silver frame of a wedding in another time. Look at him and look with him and be with him in the remembering and the unremembering too.
    And, on this day named after one of your unmarried saints, would you please bring a little unexpected joy to anyone wistfully buying flowers for themselves? Let their daffodils last longer and shine brighter than the overpriced red roses that also caught their eye.
    God of all comfort, strengthen single parents on this difficult day. Let their kids be kind, let their teens tidy their bedrooms, and if that’s a miracle too far (I realise you’ve got a lot on in the world right now), could they at least be less grumpy and initiate a hug at bedtime? 
    And so, may the arms of love, flung wide on the cross, embrace the unlovely and unloving parts of my world, my workplace, and my life today. Forgive me, I pray, for this cheap, hysterical, isolating thing I have sometimes made of love, of life, and of You. Amen.
  3. Giving thanks for love in our lives

    Loving Father, I pray for an open heart and mind,
    so that I may recognise and be grateful for all the love in my life.
    I pray that I might find a new sense of wholeness,
    joy and peace in your love.
    Remove all obstacles so that I may grow in love throughout my life.
    Give me the grace to trust in your loving plan for me,
    so that whatever my circumstances over the
    course of my life,
    I may know that I am not alone,
    that I am loved by You, my loving Father
    who is full of tenderness,
    mercy and compassion. Amen.
  4. And who was St Valentine anyway?

    Valentine really existed, but he was removed from the official calendar of saints days by the Catholic Church in 1969. Many of the traditions about him are about him evangelising rather than being associated with romantic love. But according to a hagiography, the Nuremberg Chronicle, “St. Valentine was a Roman priest martyred during Claudius’ reign. The story tells that St. Valentine was imprisoned for marrying Christian couples and aiding Christians being persecuted by Claudius in Rome.”  Tradition has it that he enraged Claudius by attempting to convert him, and was put to death.

    Crediting the sources
    1. https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/worship-texts-and-resources/common-worship/common-material/new-patterns-0
    2. http://www.dirtyglory.org/a-prayer-for-valentines-day
    3. https://www.doorabarefieldparish.ie/reflection/st-valentines-day-prayer/
    4. https://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=159

    Image Credit: Chris Liverani / Unsplash