Centering – PAUSE FOR 2 MINUTES OF SILENCE
“Be still, and know that I am God; – Psalm 46:10
God of our hearts, make us aware of our selfish motives. We want too much. We consume too much. We judge too much. We forgive too little. We help too little. We dream too little about living an abundant life with You. We use our power for our own gain. We don’t allow hurt and pain in the world to bother us. We think Your words are meant for someone else. Forgive us God. Make our lives about You, instead of us. Help us to pursue a life led by Your Spirit, and changed by Your mercy and grace. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
Reading & Devotional:
And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Matthew 22:39 (NIV)
The first part of this passage is about loving God with our whole heart, soul, and strength. The second part was to love others in the way we love ourselves. I understand the “love God” part. I know we are commanded to “love others”, but isn’t “loving ourselves” prideful and selfish? Some would teach so, but in truth, it is in loving ourselves the way God loves us that frees us to love others. Dr. Benner in “Sacred Companions” says it this way, “I meditate on His love, allowing my focus to be on Him and His love for me – and slowly things begin to change. My heart slowly begins to warm and soften. I begin to experience new levels of love for God. And slowly, almost imperceptibly, I begin to see others through God’s eyes of love. I begin to experience God’s love for others.” God’s love for others includes His love for you. Today, consider how much God loves you. Agree with Him and love yourself too. Today, love God, love yourself, love others.
Father, thank You for Your great love for me. Help me love myself and with that love, help me love others. AMEN
Here is a simple easy to remember method for praying for those around you, even if you don’t know their specific needs. The five requests are based on the word “B-L-E-S-S”.
B – Body – For health, safety, and physical needs.
L – Labors – For the success and prospering of their work and/or studies (Jeremiah 29:7).
E – Emotions – For peace and joy to replace fear and anxiety (Matthew 10:13).
S – Social life – For family’s to function well together in their community.
S – Salvation – For each to understand salvation in Jesus Christ, and come to know Him personally and grow in their spiritual lives.
CONCLUDE WITH 2 MINUTES OF SILENCE
The Our Father (slowly pray this)
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.