Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and it is a time that we normally focus on the loved ones in our lives. Specifically, we tend to focus on our spouse, partner, or significant other. While there is nothing wrong with celebrating Valentine’s Day and spending time with our loved ones, it is important that we do not overlook Jesus. Jesus is our first love and the One whom our hearts should always yearn after.
The love we have for Jesus should be greater than the love we have for anyone or anything else. In other words, we should love Jesus more than our spouse, partner, or significant other.
In fact, Jesus tells us the greatest commandment is to love Him, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40). With this in mind, we need to ensure Jesus is at the center of our hearts.
If you are struggling to make Jesus the center of your heart, know that you are not alone. It can be difficult at times, but there are many things we can do to help ourselves in this area. One of the things we can do is to pray. Here are five prayers to make Jesus the center of our hearts:
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1. A Prayer of Authenticity
One prayer to make Jesus the center of our hearts is a prayer of authenticity. What this means is that you are authentic and genuine in your prayers about how this season makes it difficult to focus on Jesus.
Do not say things merely just to say them. Say them because that is what is in your heart. This will be what will truly help you make Jesus the center of your heart this Valentine's Day.
Truly mean what you pray and earnestly go to God in prayer. Do not be afraid to be honest with your feelings and don’t be afraid to tell the Lord you are struggling in this area.
A sample prayer of authenticity could be, “Dear Lord, I do not want to just go through the motions or simply copy what someone else has already said concerning you. I want to surround my heart with you, yet I struggle with this at times. Valentine’s Day is a difficult time to keep you at the center of my heart because of all of the distractions. Please Lord help me to stay focused on you and to ensure you are at the center of my heart. I love you Lord more than anyone or anything. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
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2. A Prayer to Align Your Heart with Jesus
A prayer to align your heart with Jesus is another helpful prayer to ensure Jesus is at the center of your heart this Valentine's Day. Often it can be difficult to keep our hearts aligned with Jesus when it comes to this season. Valentine's is normally associated with romantic love, which is why it is sometimes hard for us to align our hearts with Jesus during this time of year.
Even though Valentine’s Day is normally associated with romantic love, we can start making it a practice each year to ensure Jesus is at the center of our hearts.
Valentine’s Day is a few months after Christmas. During Christmas, our hearts are normally centered and focused on Christ; however, as the winter months go along, we often see ourselves drifting away from Him. By the time Valentine's Day comes, we are more concerned about making our spouse happy or planning something special for someone in our life.
Again, there is nothing wrong with this, but to ensure Jesus is at the center of our hearts, we have to be intentional and make sure we are not ignoring Him.
A prayer to align your heart with Jesus could be, “Dear Jesus, please align my heart with yours. The time period surrounding Valentine’s Day is a hard time to focus on you. I find myself more concerned about the romantic side of the holiday rather than focusing on you, the One who truly loves me more than anyone else. Please help me to align my heart with yours and to give you the full attention, praise, and thanks that you always deserve. You are always good to me and you have blessed me in so many ways. I praise you, Lord. Amen.”
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3. A Prayer to Rid of Your Heart of Any Impure Desire
A third prayer to make Jesus the center of our hearts is a prayer to rid our hearts of any impure desire. The heart is a fickle thing and can cause us to stray from God at times. This is why it is important that we do not blindly follow the wants and yearnings of our hearts because they may lead us away from Christ.
This is especially true when Valentine’s Day rolls around each year. It can be so easy to covet other people's love lives, even if you're already happily married, or feel jealous of how others are getting showered with attention and gifts while you receive nothing. It is perfectly normal and okay to desire feeling special--but not if it is causing you to sin. If this is something you know you struggle with, ask the Lord to help you in this difficulty.
The Lord is always faithful and He will help you. A sample prayer to rid your heart of any impure desire could be, “Dear Lord, I am facing many impure desires in my heart right now. The time period leading up to Valentine’s Day as well as the actual day itself can cause me to have many impure desires. I don't want to have these desires as I know they draw me away from you. Please Lord, rid my heart of all of these impure desires and help me to make you the center of my heart. I don’t want the things of this world to be at the center of my heart. I want you to be the center of my heart. Amen.”
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4. A Prayer to Love the Lord with All Your Heart
A fourth prayer to make Jesus the center of our hearts is a prayer to love the Lord with all of our hearts. Let's read Matthew 22:37-40 again:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
We are to love the Lord with our entire hearts, minds, bodies, and souls. This is the greatest commandment as it fulfills all the Law and the Prophets. We are to love others as well, yet our love for the Lord needs to be greater than all else. This can be difficult for us at times, yet it is something we must do if we are going to have Jesus at the center of our hearts.
A sample prayer could be, “Please Jesus, help me to love you with my entire heart. I know my heart is divided and full devotion does not lie with you. Please help me to change this, Lord. Help me to be completely devoted to you and to love you with my entire being and soul. I’m tired of running after the things of the world, only to be disappointed again. Please help me to love you with all my heart and to ensure you are always at the center of my heart. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.”
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5. A Prayer to Stay Focused on Jesus
A fifth prayer to make Jesus the center of our hearts is a prayer to stay focused on Him.
As mentioned many times, it is hard to stay focused on Jesus during the Valentine’s Day season. We are distracted by numerous things, all of which lead us away from Jesus. All of us have been distracted by something during this time season and we would do well to acknowledge these things instead of ignoring them.
Through acknowledging them, we will be able to truly set our hearts on Christ this year for Valentine’s Day.
A prayer to stay focused on Jesus could be, “Dear Lord, please help me in this struggle. It seems as though it is impossible to stay focused on you during this time period. Help me to focus on you in all areas of my life. I do not want to make anyone or anything else the center of my heart. You are my first love and the One who knows me better than anyone else. Thank you for loving me even though I have not returned the kindness in the past. Please help me to stay focused on you during Valentine’s Day as well as on every other day. Thank you, Lord. Amen.”
If you found these prayers helpful, print them out or make them easily accessible on your phone, so you can go back to them whenever you need them. Instead of being a season of distraction from Jesus, Valentine's Day can be an opportunity for you to fall deeper in love with the One who loves you more than anything.
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Originally published Monday, 12 February 2024.