Good-by, my friends. Do better and pay attention to what I have said. Try to get along and live peacefully with each other.
Now I pray that God, who gives love and peace, will be with you.12 Give each other a warm greeting. All of God’s people send their greetings.
13 I pray that the Lord Jesus Christ will bless you and be kind to you! May God bless you with his love, and may the Holy Spirit join all your hearts together. 2 Corinthians 13:11-13 (CEV)
Who are you praying for today? Did you pray for yourself today?
John 17 is devoted entirely to a prayer, uttered by Jesus just before He died. Jesus prayed for His disciples and He prayed for those who would hear their words, including me. But first, Jesus prayed for Himself. Personal note: Pray for myself every day – take a tip from Jesus and pray for myself first. I’ve been working on writing a book on John 17 but I just boiled 100+ pages down to two sentences.
I was reading 2 Corinthians today and I must admit that I began to “skim through” this conclusion part. And then I felt the Spirit put the brakes on my reading and take me back over the words – slowly. What a wonderful prayer Paul has offered!
Paul encourages the people to live in harmony. Stop bickering and complaining! But first he implores them to remember what he said. Remember! When I pray for someone who is ill or facing job or financial difficulties or relationship breakdown or any burdens, do I meditate first on God’s promises? Do I think about His faithfulness? Do I read of His great love?
Paul prays for God to be with the people he is praying for because he knows when God is present, so is His immense love and His peace that is beyond our human understanding. When God is with me, other “stuff” like doubt and fear and confusion must go! The two are opposites and not compatible. And God always wins the day.
And then Paul encourages those he is raising in prayer to reach out to each other, link arms, hold hands, hug, share a holy kiss. Reach out! Do not withdraw when you are hurting. Open yourself to the healing balm of God’s love that will come through His children. Have you seen the pictures of twins holding hands in the womb? We need each other. We need the love that is expressed with a hug, even a hand quietly held.
Let us open our eyes and be open to the Holy Spirit’s urging to pray for each other and hold each other just as God holds each of us in the palm of His Hand. God’s love is more than a feeling. Much more.
Reach Out and Touch written by Valerie Simpson & Nickolas Ashford & sung by Diana Ross