It does not take a scholar to see one of the guiding principles in the New Testament is a call to love. Jesus condenses all the laws of God down to two guiding principles: love God with all that you are and have and love others as you love yourself. We are to love our neighbors, love our spouses, and love our enemies (Luke 10:27, Ephesians 5:25, and Luke 6:27). People will know whether we are Christians by our love (John 13:35). Love is of singular importance in God’s kingdom (1 Corinthians 13:13).
Most of us if we are honest with ourselves, know that we are lacking in love. We may have the ability to love those who love us, but somewhere between that and our enemies we falter. This is not to discourage us, but just to show us we need supernatural help to fulfill what God has asked of us. We need God’s assistance to be able to love.
How do we pray for love?
The first thing to remember is that we love because God first loved us (1 John 4:19). Any trouble we have in loving is directly tied to a lack of experience with God’s love for us.
- God open my heart to receive more love from you. Make me aware of what may be blocking my ability to receive from you.
The second thing to help you is to know that fear is the opposite of love (1 John 4:18). Your inability to love is directly related to an area of fear in your life. Are you afraid that person will hurt you, take too much of your time, or make you be someone you are not? Or, are you afraid that God will not take care of you?
- God my fears feel so real. What do you have to say about them? Lord, I choose to believe your truth over my fears. Help my unbelief.
The reason fears are so hard to overcome is that they are often rooted in a true experience. The key to removing the pain of that true experience is to have Jesus reinterpret it for you. Invite Jesus into that experience and ask Him where He was when you were going through your pain. Jesus is always with you (Matthew 28:20). If you can’t identify what Jesus was doing in your past pain, you will tend to believe He will be absent in the future causing fear. Go ahead and pursue God on this.
- Jesus, I was really hurt in the past. Can you show me what you were doing at that time? Thank You, Jesus for never leaving or forsaking me.
Finally, the final thing that can keep you from love is unforgiveness. Unforgiveness will rob you of the ability to receive love from God. Your unforgiveness can be towards someone who extremely hurt you, a teacher who picked on you at school, your parents, yourself, God, etc. Unforgiveness in any form will create a blockage between you and love. Unforgiveness is a sign of unbelief that God will take care of you.
- Lord, I confess my sin of unforgivess and choose right now to forgive this person. Thank you for your forgiveness and granting me the grace to trust that you will protect me with this person.
With these directions in hand on how to pray for love, you are now clear to receive the promised empowerment to love. The final step is to choose by faith to love. God is cheering for you. He is proud that you are working with Him on this. It is important to Him; it is important to you.