Teach Us To Love As You Love

Earlier in 2020, we began having a formal pastoral prayer time in our Sunday services. I’ve greatly appreciated this addition to the service for a variety of reasons, including being led in prayer by one of our shepherds and hearing their heart for the Lord and the church who they care for and love. Below is a prayer from Joel Zehr, from our December 6 service. – Dave

Our Heavenly Father,

Oh Lord, we come before you this morning to worship you, to praise you and to adore you. You are our God and our King. You are the forgiver of sins. You are our redeemer. You have compassion on us, your children. You are gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love. You are worthy of all of our devotion, worthy of all of our trust and worthy of all of our love.

Even as we pray these words, we know that we do not live them out each and every day. Our thoughts, our words and our actions can reveal our lack of devotion, trust and love for you. God how can you be faithful to us, when we are so fickle. God there is no other explanation for your faithfulness other than that you are love. We know that your love for us was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. God may we imitate your love by first loving you and second by loving others in the way that you love them. 

God unite our hearts in love. May you cause our hearts to increase and overflow with love for one another. Shape of us to be a family who loves each other well. May the children who grow up in this church see brothers and sisters who have a mutual and authentic love for God and for one another. Let them grow up knowing that they are loved by the people of this church. And may our love for one another always point to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

As we approach the Christmas season, remind us of your love. Remind us that you showed your love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. May your love for us, overflow out of our mouths to those around us. This world needs to hear of the cross just as much as the manger. Let our love for you be shown in tangible ways to those around us so that others may come to know you as their Lord and Savior. 

God we ask that you may teach us to love you with all of our heart, with all of our soul and with all of our mind. Prepare us now to hear your word. May it deepen our devotion to you, may it strengthen our trust in you, may it increase our love for you. As our brother, Blake Gerber shares God’s word with us this morning, fill him with your Holy Spirit so that his words are your words and that we may come to know you more in our time together here this morning.   May the seed of the Word fall on humble hearts this morning. To you be all glory and honor and praise. Amen