“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” Job 1:9-11
Dear Heavenly Father, as far as “creature comforts” go, I don’t have anything whine-worthy going on in my life right now. I’ve got good health… there’s always more check left over at the end of the month… none of my family members are in crisis. Right now, nothing beyond the normal fallen-ness and brokenness of life is happening, around me or within me.
I presume on none of these things, Father. I take none of them for granted. By your grace alone, I don’t battle with entitlement issues as much as I used to, and I really do believe that everything I have, I’ve received from you. (1 Corinthians 4:7)
So when I engage Job’s story, during this particular season of Lent, I’m not doing so with a troubled heart, teary eyes, gritted teeth or clinched fists. But the question does remain-Satan’s insolent insinuation persists… Why do I love you? What’s my motivation for worshipping you? How will I think about you the next time I do experience significant loss, betrayal and pain? For surely I will before Jesus returns to finish making all things new…
Father, I sometimes wonder if Satan watches a lot of American religious TV programming, because much of it surely provides fuel for his folly-much of it seems to substantiate his charge that the only reason we love you is because of the goodies you give us. How many ways are there to repackage pragmatic, utilitarian, man-centered corruptions of the gospel?
Father, I so want to be a man who loves and worships you simply because you are God. I For there is no other god besides you, and there is certainly no other god like you. I humbly thank you for your gifts, but I want to love and worship you, the Giver, as the supreme gift.
Continue to enthrall me with the gospel and install in my heart the joy of being able to say with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego… “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 2:17-18). So very Amen, I pray, in Jesus’ holy and loving name.
A Prayer About Cold Love
Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. Matt 24:12-14
Dear Lord Jesus, as you know, it’s pipes-freezin’-cold here in my hometown this morning, and it’s supposed to get even colder. One of my first thoughts and prayers for the day is offered on behalf of the poor and elderly in our community–those whose homes are not insulated and heated well enough to withstand this kind of extreme cold. I pray for their safety but I also realize that loving you, Lord Jesus, involves not only offering the thirsty a cup of cold water in the desert, but offering a cup of hot coffee, warm blankets, extra coats and space heaters to those in the frigid regions.
Such a concern for the poor seems to be directly connected to your sobering words about the danger of our love growing cold-first and foremost, our love for you, Jesus, but just as dramatically, our love for others.
As soon as I read your words this morning, Jesus, I thought of the line in the hymn, “don’t let me out live my love for you.” Jesus, that is certainly my earnest prayer and my firm hope. I only love you because you first loved me and gave yourself for me as a sacrifice of atonement… as a propitiation for my sins. I praise you that the Holy Spirit preached the gospel of the kingdom to my heart, en route to the nations, and I was made a citizen of that kingdom… a part of your bride… and an heir of the new heaven and new earth. I will never be able to say thankful well enough of long enough.
Yet Jesus, I am well aware of the times when my heart grows tepid, then cool, then chilly, and then cold. Have mercy on me, Lord, have mercy. Holy Spirit, breath upon the embers of my heart and bring forth the flame of the love I first had for Jesus when the gospel of grace was applied to my heart. I don’t want to be another believer who keeps doing many right things with the wrong heart, a cold heart… because in time, I’ll even stop doing the right things. Come, Holy Spirit, come. You will give me warm bread and not a cold stone. So very Amen, I pray, in Jesus’ kind and powerful name.
A Prayer of Love from 1 Corinthians 13
By Debbie McDaniel
“Love never fails…” >1 Corinthians 13:8
Known as the Love Chapter, 1 Corinthians 13 is one of the greatest reminders to us today of what real love looks like. And what it doesn’t look like. Widely read at weddings or written all over love notes, these words may become so familiar over time; they can almost lose some of their important message.
As we read this portion of Scripture today, let’s ask God for help in soaking in every truth as we pray His powerful words back to Him. Let’s ask for the freshness of His Spirit to bring His message of love alive within our hearts and flowing through our lives. We can’t do it on our own. We’d never be able to muster enough strength within us. It’s only possible through Him. And more than ever before, our world needs to see what true love looks like. We can do a lot of good things in this life, we can give gifts, and even make notable sacrifices for others. But if we do not have Christ’s love within us, compelling us, filling us, every moment of every day, “it profits me nothing.”
His words of truth and love:
“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails…But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” From 1 Corinthians 13:1-8, 13
Thank you that you are a loving, gracious God. Thank you that you’ve offered us forgiveness and the gift of new life in you. Thank you that your love is perfect, it never fails, and that nothing can separate us from your love.
We pray that our lives would be filled and overflowing with the power of your love so we can make a difference in this world and bring honor to you. We ask for your help in reminding us that the most important things are not what we do outwardly, it’s not based on any talent or gift, but the most significant thing we can do in this life is simply to love you and to choose to love others.
Lord thank you that your love is patient. Help us show patience with those around us.
Lord thank you that your love is kind. Help us to extend kindness to others.
Lord thank you that true love is not jealous. Help us cast aside feelings of jealousy or hatred towards others.
Lord thank you that your love does not brag and is not arrogant. Help us not to live with pride or arrogance, but to choose to walk with humility and grace.
Lord thank you that true love does not act unbecomingly. Lord help us to extend kindness instead of rudeness towards others. Help us to lay aside the critical tone and tearing down with our words, so that we can truly walk in peace.
Lord thank you that true love does not seek its own. Lord help us not to live selfishly, looking only to our own interests.
Lord thank you that true love is not provoked. Lord help us not to become easily angered. Help us not to be so quickly reactive, but instead slow to speak and slow to become angry.
Lord thank you that your love does not take into account a wrong suffered. Lord help us not to hold grudges, but to choose to forgive, even when it’s difficult.
Lord thank you that your love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. Lord help us to love your words of truth, may we walk in your freedom and wisdom. Let it be what drives our lives and choices every day.
Lord thank you that your love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, thank you that your love never fails.
Help us to love as you love. Fill us with your Spirit so that we can choose what is best. We are weak Lord, but we know also, that even when we are weak, you are strong within us. Thank you that it’s not all up to us. Thank you that you equip us to face each day with the power of your love, your forgiveness, and your grace.
We love you Lord, and we need you today, and every day,
In Jesus’ Name,
Find more by Debbie at www.debbiemcdaniel.com, or
If you clicked this article, there’s a good chance you’re looking for a prayer for love. You may have been praying about love for a while, or maybe you don’t know here to begin.
It took me a while to grasp how to pray for love.
Because I’ve always had a tendency to think about love, rather than pray about it.
There’s been a series of events occurring in my life, and I find that I’m quick to analyze, figure out, and try to put the pieces together. But it takes me a while to turn to prayer. I guess what it comes down to is that I am somewhat of a control freak. For me, if I can’t have control, I fool myself into thinking that I’ve got some sort of ability to “figure it out” in my head.
But as I’ve been weeding through Scripture lately, I’m realizing that my tendency to over-analyze is so antithesis to what God’s word says. All through Scripture Jesus is challenging us: Don’t just dwell on things, pray about them. Prayer is the act by which we mentally hand over our problems, concerns, fears, desires, and dreams to someone who actually has the power to control. And it makes so much sense, because if we’re going to allow these things to fill our brain, we are better off doing it in a way that has the power to impact the things that are weighing us down, rather than simply allowing them to consume us.
So for those of you who may find yourself consumed by your love life- or lackthereof, here are some ways to mentally and prayerfully hand those things to the One who can actually do something about it:
Your prayer for love could look something like this:
That God would give you a relationship (Matthew 7:7)!
God’s word challenges us to ask and bring our needs before God. As long as our hearts are aligned with His, there are no limits on what we can ask. What are your deepest needs and desires when it comes to a relationship? Let Him know.
That He would grant you patience and insight to wait for a good one (Isaiah 40:31).
Waiting on God is never easy, because once again, it is a reminder that we are not in control. But through the time of waiting, ask God to change you, nourish you, and fill you so that you are empowered and prepared to take the next steps when the timing is right.
That He would be working out anything unhealthy in your life (Jeremiah 33:8).
Some of our baggage and sin we can recognize, and some we can’t. As you seek to enhance your love life, be sure to ask God to help you recognize and heal all the things in your life that aren’t lining up with His best. Seek to get to the bottom of your sins, and ask for His healing power to be at work in your life.
That He would shape your heart for nourishing interactions with others (Colossians 3:12-14).
It’s important to learn how to love, rather than simply longing to be loved. When your heart is open to loving and edifying others the way it was meant to, your relationships will be enriched and empowered.
That He would bring healing into your past so that you are free to embrace the present (Philippians 3:13-14).
We are called to move forward, and forget what is behind. Sometimes, it’s easy to get stuck on our past and be paralyzed from living in the present. No matter what kinds of things your past may hold, ask God to be at work in your past so that you are free to live in the moment and embrace your present.
That He would protect your emotional world and give you wisdom of how to set healthy boundaries (Proverbs 4:23).
I talk a lot about guarding our hearts and how to practically do that, but how often do we actually pray about our hearts and emotional worlds? God longs to be a part of our emotions just as much as our spiritual life. He is a holistic God, who longs to interact with our mind, body, and soul. Give Him a chance by opening your emotional life to Him through prayer.
That He would open your eyes to the joy of doing sex His way (Hebrews 13:4).
It’s so easy to focus on what we can’t do before marriage, and end up harboring bitterness and resentment. But what if we were to ask God to open our eyes to doing life His way? What if we were to plead with Him to download His heart onto ours, so that we could truly understand what is best for our lives? Rather than struggling with His plan, let’s ask Him to reveal His heart to ours, particularly in the area of sex and sexuality, so that we can be freed to trust Him without bitterness or regret. (More on this in Chapter 8 of True Love Dates)
That God would be the focus of your life now and forever (Psalm 37:4).
At the end of the day, no matter how we view it, there is no gift that is greater than the Giver. Whether we feel that or not, it doesn’t cease to be true. May we continue to bring this request before God, so that He can turn our hearts to Him as our greatest delight and desire, because perspective has the power to change everything.
This week, rather than focus on your problems, worries, or what you don’t yet have…focus on what you do have– A direct line to the One who controls all things, including your precious heart. It’s time to actually do some real work in the area of our love life and relationships instead of wasting our mental energy away. It’s time to pray.
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Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, speaker, and author of True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life, 21 Days to Jump Start Your Love Life, and 21 Days to Pray For Your Love Life – where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. You may also recognize her voice from her 150+ articles at Relevant Magazine or Crosswalk.com! She’s also the creator of this True Love Dates Blog! Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter!
**For much more on finding true love and creating a healthy dating relationship- be sure to snag your copy of my new book, True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life!