“A Lifestyle of Prayer”
This week’s prayer focus: Love!
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13:34-35 (NIV)
Much time, effort, and money will be spent in the United States this week by people trying to find ways to express their love to one another. While some of those expressions may hit their mark, many will fall short of the love God desires for each of us to have. This week we will spend some time praying about the love God has expressed toward us and about how we can live in that love in such a way that we share it with others. God has always instructed His people to love, so it must have been a little confusing to the disciples when Jesus told them He was giving them a new command — a command to love one another. I believe the new part of the command, new because it had not been seen in such a clear way ever before, was to love as Jesus loved. As you pray this week, ask God to help you evaluate how you love. Pray that you would be so filled with God’s love that loving like Jesus would become more natural each day. Pray for wisdom and courage to express this kind of love to the people around you. Pray each day for the individuals of your congregation and for the body of Christ as a whole.
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)
Please pray each day for God to help you love like Jesus loves.
Sunday: Pray for your church staff, the preaching and teaching that takes place, the church leadership, the volunteers that are helping in so many areas, the spiritual and financial health of the congregation, and the work of the missions ministry of the church. Pray for me (Tom Lemler) and the work of Impact Prayer Ministry.
Monday: Love God. Pray that your love of God would always be the top priority of all the love you have. Pray that God’s love for you would be the standard for the love you have for Him. “Jesus replied: ‘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.” Matthew 22:37-38 (NIV)
Tuesday: Love Your Neighbor. Pray that you would focus more on loving your neighbor as God would want than on trying to define who that neighbor is — or isn’t. Pray that you would be the neighbor that shows love to all those in need. “The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31 (NIV)
Wednesday: Love Your Enemies. Pray that the love of God within you would extend to those you disagree with — even with those who would be considered enemies. Pray that the love God expressed toward you while you were an enemy would be expressed by you to those who may treat you poorly. “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:27-28 (NIV)
Thursday: Love that Leads to Obedience. Pray that you would be filled with a love that seeks to do the things that you know please God. Pray that you would live with an obedient spirit that desires to obey the commands of God as an expression of your love. “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” John 14:15 (NIV)
Friday: Love that Honors Others. Pray that your love for others would be sincere as you look for the things that benefit them. Pray that the way you honor others would reject evil and seek what is good. “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:9-10 (NIV)
Saturday: Love that Resolves Sin. Pray that you would know the love of God that has resolved the multitude of sins in your life. Pray that the way you love others would not use their sin against them but would help them be able to resolve that sin with God. “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 (NIV)