Prayer for Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is celebrated by many, ignored by some, and painful for others. It’s not a day that is usually recognised on the Christian calendar and its history and origin are uncertain. Despite the differences we might feel about this day, I think it’s a great opportunity for us to be united in prayer. Specifically, to pray for marriages, for singles, and for the fruit of love in our lives.
Prayer for Marriages
One of my favourite events to attend are weddings. I love the atmosphere and anticipation while people wait for the bride to arrive, the look on the groom’s face when the bride walks down the aisle, watching shaking hands as rings are exchanged. It’s a beautiful occasion. But we all know that marriage is more than the beautiful wedding day. The rings exchanged on the wedding day will tarnish and lose their sparkle, they require effort and time to maintain their shine. Even more so marriages require effort, time, and, most importantly, prayer to remain healthy.
Let’s pray as a church family that God will protect and bless marriages. Pray that husbands and wives will be quick to forgive and slow to anger, that they will be provide strength for one another in times of need, counsel in times of confusion, comfort in sorrow, and companionship in joy. Pray that marriages will be marked by forgiveness and times of laughter, romance, and joy. Pray that husbands and wives will not look for value and worth in each other (or their children) but will find worth in their identity as children of God.
Prayer for Singles
Rather than speaking on behalf of singles, let me share the words of Jennifer Grisham: ‘Marriage is hard, and you grow a lot through it. Nobody doubts that. But singleness is also hard, and you grow a lot through it. Marriage paints a picture of Christ’s love for the church; singleness paints a picture of Christ’s sufficiency and the joy of a life that accepts the Father’s will, as Jesus did when he prayed, “Not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). In my singleness, I’ve had to learn and relearn that I will not be put to shame for trusting God with my life (Psalm 25:1-3). I’ve needed reminders that I’m not trying to have “my best life now” or to singlehandedly realize my hopes. No, I need to live and serve with my eyes on the happiness that awaits in heaven. My desires may be partially fulfilled today, but they will be completely fulfilled when I’m in the presence of Christ.’
Let’s pray that as a church family we will love, serve and grow together, realising that we are a family and we need one another. Pray that those experiencing hardship in singleness are filled with strength, peace, and are reminded of the promises that in Jesus are sure; that one day all desires will be fulfilled completely when we are in the presence of Christ. Pray that all are reminded that we are not defined by a relationship status but by our identity as children of God.
Prayer for Love
God’s greatest commandment is that we love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. And the second is like it; love your neighbour (others) as yourself (Mt 22:37-39). We love God in how we worship Him with our whole life. Loving others looks like 1 Corinthians 13:4-8: ‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.’ Love is not merely a feeling, it is a choice that requires action and is only possible with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Let’s pray that we will rely on the Spirit’s help to love God and to love others. Pray that we will worship God with our heart, soul, mind and strength as we pray, as we read His Word, when we drive, at work, at school, and in all that we do. Pray that we will love others as Christ has loved us. Pray that we will love others with patience, kindness, without envy or boasting, with humility, self-sacrificially and joyfully. Pray that we will seek to protect, trust, hope and persevere in our relationships with others.