12 Prayers | For Loving One Another
As believers and followers of Christ we are a part of the greatest love story ever written. We are being wooed by God himself into a love relationship with Him. The greatest act of love we have ever been shown and ever will be shown was God himself sending His only son to take the punishment for our sin so that our love relationship with Him could be restored. When you fall in love, you want to shout it from the mountain tops. You don’t keep it a secret, you want to share it. This love relationship with our God should compel us to share it with others because it is not a love exclusive to us, it is available for anyone. This love knows no color, gender or socioeconomic level. It is a love that anyone can share. It is a love you do not have to earn or work for, it is freely given. It is a love that encourages you to come as you are, not all cleaned up. It is an extravagant love that never ends and never gives up, and it is meant for sinners like you and me.
We talk all the time about loving others; loving with words of encouragement, loving by acts of service, loving by giving money, loving by spending time. All of these loves are right and good, but they are incomplete if we do not share the greatest love the world has ever known, the gospel. 12 Prayers for loving one another is intended to be a day of prayer focused on asking God to help us share His love story with others. We will spend the day asking God to reveal His love story through the gospel to our friends and family who do not know this love. We will be praying that God would use us to proclaim His love to others. We are doing this because sharing His love story is the greatest display of love we can show one another. We ask that you would think right now of specific people in your life who do not know the love of God found through Jesus Christ. We want you to pray specifically for these people today.
1. John 4:19: “We love because he first loved us.”
Jesus, you are the author and originator of love. We only know love because you are love and you loved us first. You love us specifically and sacrificially. You love us in our sin and rebellion against you. You love us despite the pain we inflict on others. You love us in our mess. It is that love - that selfless, self-sacrificing love, which allows us to love others. It is an overflow of your love for us that allows us to love other people. Jesus, we ask you to make us better lovers of one another. Would you give us the heart and love to proclaim your love to those who need to hear it?
2. Romans 3:10: “As it is written, ‘There is no one righteous, not even one.’”
Mark 8:24: “Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.”
God, I want to lift up my friends and family who have not yet seen their need for a savior because they do not see their own sin. Open their eyes to the hurt they cause you and others. Open their hearts to the depth of their need for saving. May they see that there is no one righteous, not even one. Remove the scales from their eyes so they can see clearly.
3. 2 Corinthians 2: 15: “For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.”
Father, we want to smell like you, look like you, sound like you, and touch like you so that those around us can experience you. Jesus, make us a sweet fragrance to those who are being saved. When our love smells rotten to those who are perishing, help us to love and pray for them. Help us remember that no one is outside the reach of God’s grace.
4. Romans 6:23: “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Jesus, you offer the gift of salvation free, without cost and without prerequisites. We pray that our friends and family who need this gift would see that it is not something they can earn or buy. We ask that you would help them open their hands to you and accept this free gift.
5. Acts 4:20 “We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
God, you have done incredible works in and through our lives. You have done incredible works through the lives of those around us. We pray that you will help us to tell others about the amazing things that we have seen and heard. We want it to be natural for us to desire to share all that you have done in our lives with others. Make us like the early church that could not help but speak!
6. Romans 8:1: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”
John 8:10-11: “Jesus stood up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.’”
Father, so many of our friends and family feel condemned by the mistakes they’ve made and the sins they’ve committed. Some believe there is no way God or anyone could ever really love them. Jesus, we pray that you would help us to show the love of God to our brothers by withholding judgment and condemnation. We pray that through this love your Holy Spirit would speak the words, “You are forgiven, now go and sin no more.”
7. Isaiah 6:8-9: “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’”
God, we know you are calling us to go. Some you call to the nations, some just to a neighbor’s house. You are calling all of us to say, “Here I am, send me.” God, send us to those who are in need of hearing your love story, whether it is a parent, coworker, child or checkout clerk. Whoever and whenever, open our spirit to listen to your voice when you tell us to go.
8. 1 Corinthians 9:19: “For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.”
Mark 10:45: “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Jesus, you came to serve, not to be served. We want to be like you. We want to serve those around us so that they will see the selfless love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus, we want to be like you, washing the feet of those around us. As we do that, may we proclaim you, the humble servant king.
9. 1 Timothy 1:15: “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.”
God, we want to be humble proclaimers of your grace. We pray that you would keep our own sin and our own need for you at the forefront of our minds so that we would not boast in ourselves as we tell others about you. We pray that we would go to others as beggars showing other beggars where to get bread. Keep us from getting prideful; keep the truth of the gospel always before us so that we can better love others.
10. 2 Corinthians 5:20: “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”
Holy Spirit, would you move in us to see our role as an ambassador of the gospel. We are God’s mouthpiece, his representative to the world. There are so many around us in need of reconciliation with others and, more importantly, reconciliation with you. By your grace, we have the answer for them. We ask that you would give us the words to appeal and implore others to be reconciled.
11. Titus 3:4-7: “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
2 Peter 3:9: “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
Jesus, we beg you to pour out your Spirit on our lost friends and family. May they see the goodness and kindness of you, our Savior. We pray they will no longer look to their own righteousness but to yours. We pray you will be patient toward them, that they will turn from their sin and repent. We ask you to bring them into the great love story.
12. 2 Corinthians 3:3: “And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”
Jesus, help us to see that we are your love letters to a world desperate to be loved. We ask that you would show us that each one of our stories is valuable to your kingdom and that you want to use us to spread your love to the ends of the earth. You have written the gospel love story on the tablets of our heart and it’s a story that needs to be shared. We pray for the courage and conviction to share our personal love letter with others. Amen.
God is writing a unique and yet, universal, story in each of our lives. He's turning the broken into beautiful through Jesus Christ. Jesus wants to use your story in the lives of those around you. He wants to use it in your children's lives, your mother-in-law, your yoga partner, your kid's Room Mom. He wants you to reach out to the people he places in your path and he wants you to love them. Love can be shown in lots of ways but we all know that if we neglect sharing the hope that we have in Him with those we care for, we have not loved them fully. I have a four-part challenge for us this Valentine's weekend so that we can better love one another:
1. Write your faith story down. Putting your story to paper can help you verbalize it with others. Also, taking the time to remember the details of your story can make you more thankful for the beautiful love others have shown you by sharing Christ's love with you. As we remember these things, we fall more in love with our Savior.
2. Share your written story on social media - Facebook, your blog, IG... Twitter if you are really short-winded, lol! This is a great way to break the ice with friends and family and reach people we normally don't get to talk to in person with the gospel love story. Use the hashtag #mystoryoffaith to share it with all of us.
3. Commit to praying consistently for God to grow your boldness in sharing your story and the gospel with those he puts in your path.
4. Think of a few people who are clearly in your path right now who need to hear of the love of God. Commit to share that love with them in the next few weeks.
Thank you all for participating in another #12 Prayers day of prayer. It is always an honor to pray with you. I am hoping and praying that our hearts grow in love for one another, and that we are moved to share our faith story with those God has placed in our lives. I wanted to express a special thank you to my 12 prayers team. Kate and Jessica, my artists extraordinaire, putting our prayers into tangible pieces of art that can help us worship better. Check out the Prayer Cards and Mirror Cards at our 12Prayersshop on Etsy. Thank you, Laura, for your fine editing skills, you are always a life-saver. Thank you to Joye for sharing her beautiful photos with us, they were a gift. I also want to give a big thank you to the ladies who shared their faith stories with us throughout the week. Your stories drew us closer to Christ. Last, but never least, thank you to our Heavenly Father who graciously asks us to come to Him in prayer, and promises to hear us and answer!