It’s been a week of love.
But sometimes, love is hard.
Not the loving-someone-who-loves-you-back kind, but the loving-someone-who-doesn’t-reciprocate kind. Loving when you’ve been wounded, you’ve forgiven, and you desire genuine restoration. But instead of release, there’s angst.
Loving when God says, “Love again.”
I wrestle with loving others over and over again when I sense a barrier is up against me. Often I feel like I’m knocking on a wall, somehow trying to find the secret door that will open up favor and restoration. I admit, I desire favor with others. I wish I could say, “As long as Jesus loves me, I’m good.” But in my heart of hearts, I hurt when loving others out of obedience is rejected. I want to put up my own wall then.
But God says, “Love again.”
What does loving look like when our emotions say, “I’m done”?
How to Pray about Love
For me, it involves praying scripture and blessing over that person, asking God to release all that He has planned for them. One scripture the Lord has instructed me to pray is Philippians 1:3-6.
I thank my God every time I think of you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (NIV)
When I pray, it looks like this:
Every time I think of that person, I say, “Thank you, Lord, for ________ (Phil 1:3).
When I pray, I ask the Holy Spirit to give me joy for them. (Phil 1:4).
When I pray, if they are believers, I thank God for their partnership in the gospel (Phil 1:5).
I pray that God will continue to do a good work in them, thanking Him for the work He is already doing. Phil 1:6
Praying God’s Word for others releases His desires for them and liberates us from negative emotions. It brings about a sense of compassion for the person we can’t muster on our own. It gives us perspective about the person’s life, reminding us of their needs. When we pray scripture for another, we release the power of God to work in their life and ours. God receives the glory when He loves through our shortcomings.
The process shifts focus off of ourselves and aligns our heart with God’s. It gives us His eyes and heart, allowing us to love again and again.
Even when it hurts.
Holy Father, show us the power you desire to pour out when we come to you claiming the supremacy of your Word over our emotions. Help us to love others with your compassion when our senses tell us we can’t love any more. Give us the desire to pray your blessing and favor over those we’ve been wounded by. Lord, teach us how to pray.