“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” – John 15:13
Now that it’s February, we switch our attention to the missional theme of the month; LOVE. We chose ‘love’ for February because Valentine’s Day falls on February 14th. It’s a time where we intentionally express our love and appreciation for our partners, families and our friends.
February also marks the start of the Christian observance of ‘Lent’; the 40 days leading up to Easter Sunday symbolizing the 40-day period that Jesus spent wandering in the desert before beginning His public ministry. Lent is a season of prayer, penance, repentance, atonement and self-denial for Christians leading up to the biggest day in our Christian calendar, Easter, where we celebrate the resurrection of the Saviour of the world. During Lent, the days ‘Lengthen’ (can you see the word ‘lent’ in ‘lengthen’?), as we get closer and closer to the reality that Jesus is alive and reigns as the King of Kings.
This year there are nine days in February before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. Since there are nine fruits of the spirit, I have decided to write a series of prayers for each of these days based on these nine fruits in preparation for Lent. ‘Love’ is the first fruit in the list, and since it is our theme for the month I’ve decided to recycle a prayer about love I used a few newsletters ago; one that seemed to resonate with so many of you.
Also, if you have prayer requests for your ministry or for anything else that you’d like shared with this group for communal prayer, please send them my way and I will include them in the following newsletters.
I pray that these ‘pre-Lenten’ prayers will resonate with you as we lead into this Holiest of seasons.
We continue striving to be ‘The Hand of God in the Heart of the City’.
Dion Oxford, Director of Mission Integration
O God of love, we pray thee to give us love:
Love in our thinking, love in our speaking,
Love in our doing, and love in the hidden places of our souls;
Love of our neighbours near and far;
Love of our friends, old and new;
Love of those with whom we find it hard to bear,
And love of those who find it hard to bear with us;
Love of those with whom we work,
And love of those with whom we take our ease;
Love in joy, love in sorrow;
Love in life and love in death;
That so at length we may be worthy to dwell with thee,
Who art eternal love.
– William Temple, 1881-1944 (Archbishop of Canterbury 1942-44)
Article originally published on torontohhs.org