Loving others 1

'Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.' James 5:16 NIV

As followers of Jesus, we're called to love people. Jesus said: 'Love your neighbour as yourself' (Mark 12:31 NIV). But sometimes people aren't easy to love, whether it be in our families, friendships, work places, neighbourhoods, or even in our churches. Relationships can be full of joy, peace and unity, but also have disagreements and bitterness, usually due to different personalities and opinions.

How can we love people well? Firstly, by praying for them. Prayer is powerful and does change things. The Bible says: 'Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed' (James 5:16 NIV). Whether it's someone we know really well or someone we're getting to know, by listening to what's going on in their lives, we can pray more specifically for physical, emotional or relational healing.

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. 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' (Romans 8:34 NIV). So when we're praying for others, we're reflecting Jesus. That's an amazing reason in itself to start praying for the people in our lives. And praying for people is part of loving them.

So what now? Choose someone in your life to pray for. And ask God to show you how to love them well.

Soulfood: Num 34-36, Mark 9:30-37, Ps 18:30-50, Pro 11:22

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