Jesus’ prayers are no doubt the high point of love-motivated intercession. Just before His arrest Jesus prayed for His disciples’ protection, for their sanctification, and for their complete unity (John 17)—all prayers that reflect His loving concern for them; all kingdom prayers. The next day, nailed to the cross, Jesus prayed for those who crucified Him, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
Today Jesus, at the Father’s right hand, continues to intercede for us and all His people out of a heart filled with love. Because of His love-filled prayers we live in the confidence that nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of Christ” (Romans 8:39).
Love-motivated prayers for others are birthed from God’s love for us and our love for God. They are prayers for what is on God’s heart. With such prayers we step into God’s loving concern for His children and His world. We join Him in His love ventures in the world. We become instruments of His love for people. Our loving prayers are like small streams of love that flow into His large river of love. When we pray in this way we not only participate in His love but we become like Him. Jesus reminded us that when we love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us, we are “sons of our Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:43–45).
–Adapted from Praying God’s Heart (Prayers that Make a Difference) by Alvin VanderGriend. This brand new resource will be available in the Fall at the PrayerShop Bookstore.
Oh Christ, forgive my hardness of heart, and my stubborn grasp on my own concerns. Please help me to step into the plans and purposes of Your loving heart. May my prayer life be a stream that flows into Your river of love, pouring out upon my enemies, the lost, the poor, the orphaned, and the marginalized faceless people who drift across my path every day! Help me to focus upon them with Your eyes, motivated by love birthed from Your heart.
Praise God for the privilege of coming to him in worship and praise today. Give thanks with “shouts of joy and thanksgiving” (Ps. 42:4) for God’s many benefits. Confess your occasional lack of enthusiasm in devotion. Commit yourself to “festive” times of personal worship. Ask God to meet with you on those occasions.
Ask that the devotional experiences of your family and friends will be characterized by joy. Pray that the Spirit will enliven their walk with God.
“Prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan.” —John Bunyan
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend (Click on the blue title for more information about this resource).