Heartbreak is agonising and brings up so much hurt and disappointment. Here, Elizabeth Moore and Audrey Elledge, authors of Liturgies for Hope, share their prayer for when you love someone who doesn’t love you back.
Oh Lord, I have opened my soul to another whose desire is not for me.
I have unlocked my heart only to have it explored and discarded.
I have awakened to the melody of love only to find myself singing it alone.
El Roi—God who sees—look upon me now
in the desert of my disappointment,
in the valley of unrequited love,
in my separation from the one who has captivated my soul.
You are intimately aware of the sting of this loss.
I praise You for the one whom my heart is drawn to,
for You created them beautifully and mysteriously complex.
What a gift they are to the world and to me,
even though they are unable to love me the way I love them.
I see who You have created them to be and celebrate their future formation,
even though I will not be there as they flourish into their becoming.
Will You arise and comfort me, Oh Lord?
Will You receive me in this lonely night?
Be with me on my bed as I think of the one I love.
Be with me in the morning when I awake alone.
Be with me in the monotonous hours when I long for their
for the simple effortlessness of their companionship.
Though this person will never know me the way I wish,
Your piercing gaze is fixed on my heart.
You run toward me with affection that never ends.
Your desires for me outnumber the stars in the sky.
Be for me the pure and loyal partner that they are not.
Show me that there is no one else but You.
Oh God, my faithful companion, my loyal lover,
set me as a seal upon Your heart when my worldly lovers abandon me.
I release my beloved with this blessing
and take hold of the hand of my Eternal Beloved:
To the soul that I hoped would be mine
and to the hands that do not hold me the way I wish.
To the current that draws you away from me
and to the path that I must continue down alone.
To the life that awaits you
and to anyone who will accompany you in the future.
To the years we will not share together
and to the lives we will never know.
I bless you on your journey, which will take you far from me.
I release you without asking for answers,
without needing the final word.
I love you too deeply to wish you harm,
and I leave you in the hands of God and others
who will care for you in the ways I wish I could.
God, go with me now as I turn in a new direction.
Light up my path with new and wondrous things.
With my broken heart tucked safely in the shadow of Your wings,
I lift up my eyes to a new and hopeful future.
Genesis 2:18–25; 16 • Psalm 18:6; 46:1; 73:25–26; 91:4; 139; 147:3 • Song of Solomon 8:6 • Isaiah 42:10; 43:19 • John 3:16; 14:16–18
This is an extract from Liturgies for Hope: Sixty Prayers for the Highs, the Lows, and Everything in Between by Elizabeth Moore and Audrey Elledge (SPCK, 2022).