Loving others in the church (1)
We all know that we’re called to love others. Jesus said: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ (Mark 12:31 NIVUK). But we also all know that sometimes people aren’t easy to love, and that’s just as true in our churches as it is in our families, work places, and neighbourhoods. Our churches can be places of joy, peace, and unity, but they can also be places of disagreements and bitterness, often due to different personalities and different opinions. So how can we love those in our church? The first way we can love them is by praying for them. Prayer is powerful and can change things. The Bible says: ‘Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.’ But how can we create relationships and pray for people when we don’t really know them? We can pray generally for people around us, but by getting to know people, talking to them, and listening to the things that are going on in their lives, we can pray more specifically. We need to make the effort to chat to people and ask them how they are. It might take a while of developing relationship with someone for them to trust us and tell us the situations they find themselves in. Praying for others is also known as intercessory prayer, because we are interceding between the person and God. Jesus does this for us all the time. In Romans 8 we’re told ‘Christ Jesus who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us’ (v.34 NIV). So when we’re praying for others, we’re reflecting Jesus. That’s an amazing reason in itself to start praying for those in your church.
Choose someone in your church to get to know more, and to pray for every day for a week.
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