1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Dear heavenly Father, may these words arrest my soul, and may your kindness lead me to repentance: No matter how many spiritual gifts I have, or how powerful a faith; even if I were the most generous person in my church or evidenced a serene willingness to be martyred… without love it’s all for naught—I am nothing and nothing would be gained, without a heart of love.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
Father, by the transforming power of grace, increase my patience with difficult people and in uncontrollable circumstances. Replace my rigidity and harshness with your kindness. Grant me contentment in Christ and by Christ, that I might envy less, boast only in Jesus, and evidence genuine humility.
5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Grant me a merciful heart for covering other’s failures and building them up. Continue to purge my soul of self-interest, self-exaltation, and other forms of self-ism. Help me steward the emotion of anger, and grant me a photographic memory when it comes to the gospel, but memory deficiency when it comes to the ways people let me down or hurt me.
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
Father, may I find no pleasure when the “bad guys” get their due—revenge belongs to you; but may I rejoice at every expression of the good, true, and beautiful.
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
As the gospel goes deeper and deeper into my heart, may I protect the people I love—emotionally, spiritually, and otherwise; learn to trust when trusting isn’t easy; hope—not based on what I see, but who you are; and persevere, especially when I’d prefer to give in or give up. Father, thank you, thank you, thank you, that this is the way you love us in Jesus. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ kind and powerful name.