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Prayer: A Gift of Love

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

Read James 5:13-16

View the March-April, 2017 Issue

Jesus said, “Where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

- Matthew 18:20 (NIV)

During our weekly Bible study at church, one of the members, Edie, asked if anyone would be interested in coming to the prayer group next week. I never gave much thought to joining the group because I don’t consider myself a “prayer warrior.” As I began to think about prayer, I wondered if I could be sincere in praying for others, especially people I don’t know. I do know that when I need God’s help in my life, I stop and pray, knowing God will guide me through any situation. So I thought, If I pray for God’s blessings on my life, why not pray for others too?

As I asked God for guidance about joining the prayer group, a passage of scripture came to mind: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:39). I realized that prayer fits with this commandment: I can show love for others through praying for them. As I continued to recall scripture verses, I remembered that James 5:16 tells us to pray for each other; and Matthew 18:20 tells us that when we gather together in Jesus’ name, he will be there with us. Through scripture, God gave me the encouragement I sought to attend our church’s prayer group.

By praying for others, either alone or with a group, we show them love. Prayer is indeed a way to “love your neighbor as yourself.”

Read more from the author, here.

The Author

Jim McCullough (Ohio, USA)

Thought for the Day

Today I will demonstrate love through prayer.


Loving God, as we pray for others, may they know your powerful, loving presence in their lives this day and always. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Prayer focusPrayer groups


Comment by Joe

Great devotional, Jim, and a most astute observation: 'Prayer is indeed a way to “love your neighbor as yourself.”'. Makes good sense from the get go. If we love ourselves enough to pray for ourselves, then we should love our neighbors as we do ourselves and pray to our Heavenly Father for our neighbor's good. It fits in with God's grand design for we who are called by God: Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.

Posted April 28, 2017 at 08:01AM CDT
Comment by dave of Manassas, VA

Jim: Very astute. I will pass that on to our pastor...We are doing a sermon series on prayer right now.
Praying for Sarah, and Rachel, Jena, Goldie, and others we used to see. I ask God to make us channels of blessing to those around us.
Please pray for me...tomorrow is the day I teach the Scouts about radio. Please ask God for good conditions on the radio, and that I will be able to do a good job and at the same time leave behind His fragrance.
Thank you for your presence.

Posted April 28, 2017 at 08:21PM CDT
Comment by Sarah of Berwyn, IL

Good morning, everyone! Thank you, Jim, for your devotional this morning. You are correct, praying is one way that we can show our love to our fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord, especially if we are not able to be around them. I have never met any of you from the UR family. I do occasionally email several of you, and have spoken on the phone to a few. Otherwise I have not had any direct contact with any, but one thing I can do for all of you is to pray for you, your family, and your needs. I may not be able to sing, or preach, or travel to other lands as a missionary, but one thing I can always do is pray.
THELMA of Albany, NY - I am praying for the vestibular condition you have. I pray that the Lord will give your doctors wisdom in the treating of this, as your current treatments are no longer effective. I pray that He will lead you to a specialist who can get you relief. I pray that the Lord will bring you full healing from this condition. I am also keeping your ecumenical Bible study group in prayer, that the Lord will bless your gathering and study of His Word, and that He will also lead others in your area to join. * CHARLIE of Powhatan, VA - I am continuing to keep you in prayer for your marriage counseling, and that Monday’s session will go better than Thursdays did. I pray that the Lord will bless and direct the whole session, giving both of you His wisdom, love, understanding and forgiveness. I pray for the Lord’s wisdom for your counselor, and that He will bring about a restoration of your marriage.
EDD of Ocala, FL - I am praising the Lord that your checkup brought some good news, with your A1C numbers were good! I pray that He will continue to bring you good health for upcoming surgery, and that it will be a complete success. I am praying that the Lord will bring healing to your asthma, as the wildfires are aggravating the condition. * JUDY of Yalaha, FL - I am praying for you today as you go to visit your sister-in-law in Bradenton, along with your son and daughter-in-law. I pray that the Lord gives you safety on the road, and that you all enjoy a wonderful time together. I am also praying for your neighbor’s children as they are seeking for a home in the area to move him to, as his dementia worsens. I pray that the Lord will guide them to just the right place that will meet his needs, and where he will get good and loving care.
MIKE of Sanibel, FL - I am praying for you as you travel back to Kentucky on Monday. I pray that the Lord will give you travel mercies, and that He will send His angels ahead of you on the road to keep you safe. I pray that you will enjoy a wonderful rest of the spring and upcoming summer in Kentucky. * KAREN of Jackson, MS - I am praying for you today as you run a 5k today. I pray that the Lord will give you the strength, stamina and encouragement as you undertake this. I pray that He will keep you safe, and that you will feel fine, both before, during, and afterwards.
MARSHA of Bangs, TX - I pray that everything went well for your son, Jim, as he had some biopsies done on the lumps on his side. I pray that he will hear back soon with some good news, and that it is not cancer. I pray that whatever has caused these lumps can be easily treated, and that the Lord brings him healing. I also pray that your grandson, Zakk, had a good baseball game last night, and that the Colt 45’s played a good game and had a lot of fun together. * SHEILA of Bryantsville, KY - So good to see you back again! You were truly missed! I am praising the Lord that you have Internet, not only so you can join us here, but also for any other time you might be needing it. I am continuing to pray for Daddy Paul, as his wife, Mamma Blanche, recently passed away. May the Lord bring him and the family His peace and comfort. I am also praying that the Lord will continue to meet your needs in every way.
PATRICIA of Laurelton, NY - I am praising the Lord that your son, Ekow, was not hurt when he was in the car accident that totaled his car! I pray that the Lord will continue to watch over and protect him, and give him the peace he needs right now. I pray, also, that he will be able to get another car, and that the Lord will provide for that need. I pray that you arrived safely in Oregon, and that the Lord will bless you, your brother and his family, as you visit together. * RANDY of Amarillo, TX - I am keeping you in prayer as you strive to keep your weight down, and also deal with several other health issues. I pray that the Lord will uphold you and bring you the healing that you need. I am also praying for your friend, Mohammed, as you have been witnessing to him when you’ve been together. I pray that the Holy Spirit will be speaking to his heart, using your words and testimony, and that one day soon Mohammed will profess Jesus as Savior.
MARILYN of Yukon, OK - I am praying for you and your husband as you travel home from Arizona this weekend. I pray that the Lord gives you travel mercies and protection all along the road, bringing you safely to your front door. I am so glad that you had a wonderful vacation there, seeing the beauty in creation the Lord has blessed us with. * BETTE of Westfield, IL - I am holding you in prayer as you try to deal with and care for your husband, with his health issues, particularly his diabetes. I pray that the Lord will give you wisdom, and bring people across your path who will have good suggestions for you. I pray that He will uphold you with an extra measure of strength and peace, bringing you relief from all of the stress, as you cast this burden upon His shoulders. I pray that the Lord will encourage your husband to be faithful to the diet and exercises that the doctors have ordered.
DAVE of Manassas, VA - I am praying for you today as you teach the scouts about radios. I pray that you will be able to present this in a way that they will both understand and be interested in the topic. I pray that He will help you connect with them and everyone has a great day.
Regarding my doctor appointment Friday afternoon for my extremely swollen feet and ankles - the doctor prescribed me a strong diuretic to take for a week and I’m to come back afterwards. She also gave me a referral for some tests at our hospital for my heart. I’ll be having those in about a week. We’ll see what happens. Thank you for your prayers.
Again, here is my blog site for any interested in reading - http://www.bcplectionary.blogspot.com

Have a blessed day, everyone!

Posted April 28, 2017 at 10:03PM CDT
Comment by coni

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. — Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV)-
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. — Isaiah 58:9 (NIV

Posted April 28, 2017 at 10:20PM CDT