with confidence we draw near to Your throne of Grace,
that we might receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
“We are yours, as you have said,
O Lord of Hosts,
and you have made us your treasured possession
and have spared us.” (Malachi 3:17)
Lord, in your word you showed us the most excellent way.
We have sought to speak in the tongues of men and angels –
using technology to spread our voice and our desires far and wide,
connecting to people all over the world,
meeting with people face to face,
and speaking thousands and thousands of words this week –
and because of our lack of love we have often been only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
We have read and learned and prophesied
about the weather, the news, our friends, our families and our lives –
we have fathomed mysteries, watched programs, learned facts,
searched out knowledge and made ourselves smarter this week–
but because of our lack of love much of that knowledge
has amounted to nothing.
We have showed our faith to You and others,
have done our religious duty,
have spoken your word,
have studied your word,
have prayed your word…
but because it was not motivated by love…
it was really nothing.
We have given much to others
of our time, our abilities, our finances, our things, our help and our selves.
We have committed ourselves to serving you
and others at the expense of our bodies, our health, our strength and our very lives…
but because it wasn’t motivated by love…
we gain nothing.
Teach us how to Love, dear God,
for You are Love.
We pray for all those around us,
in our families,
and our world:
Teach us to Love as you love.
Help us to love by being patient, as you are patient.
Help us to love by being kind, for you are kind.
Help us to love by not being envious, or boasting or by being proud,
for you, Lord Jesus showed perfect love by being the perfect servant,
making yourself nothing so we could have everything.
Help us to love by not being rude or self-seeking,
for you God show us love through loving words whispered in our spirits and by seeking only our good.
Help us to love by not being easily angered,
for you God show love by keeping no record of wrongs for all who ask forgiveness.
Lord, teach us to be more loving by not delighting in evil,
but by rejoicing in the truth.
Help us love by protecting, just as you protect…
by giving others second and third and fourth chances, just as you have given to us…
by being full of hope…
and by persevering,
just as you persevered to the cross save us from our sin.
Lord, give us in our heart of hearts,
a love that never fails.
We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
(Adapted from 1 Corinthians 13:1-8a)