How well did you love?

Recently, someone shared with me a situation that they were in and asked me to pray with them, which I did. Then, as I was walking home after praying with this person, I was pridefully thinking about how successfully I had implemented my prayer training. Thankfully, God interrupted my thoughts!

“But how well did you actually love them?”

Hmm. I realised that although I had ticked all the boxes in the “textbook”, I was so quick to diagnose and fix that I forgot to love.

God’s first language is love. If we want to reveal Him to others, make a difference, steward revelation or be part of ushering in the Kingdom of God, we must learn to be people of love. If we want to share His heart authentically, we must learn to love like Him. The only way we can deliver a word of encouragement, wisdom or prophecy in its pure form is if we do it in love.

I had another experience not long ago where I prayed for someone, but this time, I intentionally took some time to connect to God’s heart and see them through a lens of His love. I wasn’t very eloquent or impressively insightful, but they ended up being really touched. It wasn’t because of what I said, but because of God’s love.

A wise person once told me that the goal in prayer and prophecy isn’t to be the most accurate, it’s to love people well: to love people like Jesus. Practising to be more accurate is good, but it shouldn’t come before love.

Jesus talks a lot about love. He says, ‘By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.’ (John 13:35) Love should be our team badge: a way in which people can recognise believers!

So next time you’re praying with someone, take a moment to connect to the Father’s heart. If someone shares a difficult situation with you, listen to them and listen to God before you speak. Keep intentionally putting on your glasses of love to see people as God sees them!

Mary Swain, Dayspring Church | Author of ’40 Days of Delighting in God’