“… because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
Romans 5:5b

“Father, Your Word says the fruit of the Holy Spirit is evident in my life by the way I love others, that if I say I love You, yet hate my brother, I am a liar. I know Father that so often I do not love as You have called me to love. I love when it is convenient, when I am in the right mood, or even worse, only if someone has been loving me. Forgive me. Have mercy on me, Lord. Forgive my self-serving, selfish loving. Fill me with Your love and compassion.

   I ask You to bring healing to damaged relationships in my life, those who I find difficult to love––and I especially pray for those who the Holy Spirit brings to mind this evening …

   You have said love is patient and kind, it does not envy or boast, is not arrogant or rude, selfish or easily provoked. It does not keep record of wrong or rejoice in unrighteousness. Father give me this kind of love for those around me! May my love for my family members, my co-workers, neighbors, and classmates (my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus!) truly bear all things, believe all things, hope all things and endure all things. Keep my love from failing!

   May I practice lavish love with them, and so live-out Your love in the world that has yet to know You. May extravagant love be evident in my relationships with my brothers and sisters in Jesus. Keep me from having any part in that which would cause division in the body of Christ. Instead, may my life be rooted and established in love.

   Father, Your Word says it is by the way that I love those in my community of faith that the world will know that I belong to You. Give me this kind of love I pray! As You have lavishly loved me, may I in turn love others and encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus on toward even greater love and good deeds––especially toward the helpless. May I be found worthy of bearing the Name of Christ and determined to live-out the debt of love I owe so that Jesus may be exalted and glorified. In His Name I ask these things. Amen”

We must not only pray, but we must pray with great urgency, with intentness and with repetition. We must not only pray, but we must pray again and again.

E. M. Bounds

“The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.”
Psalm 145:18 (NKJV)

Hopefully, there is that which is in us that wants to continually experience the nearness of God. One way is to pray, pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Then we will have the assurance expressed above: “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him.” Prayer has a wonderful power in helping us to draw near to God. In fact, prayer appropriates the Presence of God! God is everywhere and, as the Almighty Present One, is ever ready and capable to grant us unbroken fellowship with Him. Such is almost always achieved only through prayer.

Do we really want to know the secret of always living in a state of prayerfulness? The answer is quite clear. Realize first that God is near you, and within you––closer to you than your next breath! That being so, you will feel how natural it is to talk with Him each moment about your needs and desires. This is the secret of the prayerful life of which Paul writes, in 1 Thessalonians 3:10,

“… night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face …”

   It is only when we live a life apart from God that we find ourselves saying, “I must make time, I must take the trouble first of all to search for God, to find God, before I can pray!” More and more we will find that the true Christian life is a constant abiding with the Father, a delighting in Him, as Psalm 89:16 says of some,

“In Your name they rejoice all day long …”

Intimacy between the Father and His child should be continuous! Prayer, for this reason, should become a daily life activity, like breathing or sleeping, instead of something that is brought into use only occasionally, like a pocketknife. The living principle of complete dependence upon the unseen God, with the development of the holy habit of claiming His Presence with us each moment of the day––this is the summation of the life we are called to live in this world.

“God always near,” so that we may always call upon Him. According to Paul, in Philippians 4:6, 7 (NKJV), when we do so, we will eventually become,

“Anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, [we will] let [our] requests be made unto God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard [our] hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Remember these two things: a God always near, with infinite grace and abundant mercy; and His child in utter weakness, calling upon One who will hear and answer our prayers.