A Picture of Love (1 Corinthians 13:4–7) - Radical

A Picture of Love (1 Corinthians 13:4–7)

“Love is patient and kind. Love does not envy or boast. It is not arrogant or rude, It does not insist on its own way, It is not irritable or resentful, It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
– 1 Corinthians 13:4–7

1 Corinthians 13:4–7 is one of the most famous passages, maybe in all the Bible, certainly in First Corinthians. This description of love, of Christ-like love, and it is famous for a reason. It’s beautiful. This portrait of love is majestic, and the more you meditate on it, the more you just kind of read it and soak it in, the more beautiful it becomes. I just want to pray for these things for us, just to lead us to pray for this kind of love.

Let’s pray that the depiction of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4–7 will mark each of our lives.

A kind of love that comes from God that is so different from even some of the misconceptions we might have about love in this world. So let’s pray for love according to God’s word in our lives, in our relationships, in the church, in the way we love the lost, those who are not in Christ around us. God, we pray for your love to be evident in us, to be a reality in us.

We want to experience a life that is saturated with your love, with love that is patient. God, make us patient, we pray. Let all of us be patient today, let all of us to be kind. We pray for kind love in our lives. May the fragrance of kindness be evident to all around us today, we pray. We pray that you would keep us, guard us from envy or boasting. God, we pray for humility.

Humble Love

We pray for humble love that is not looking to advance ourselves, but that is looking for the good of others; that is not looking to exalt our own name, but is looking to exalt your name. God, we pray that you would keep us from all envy, make us content, and keep us from all boasting. Make us humble, we pray. We know that love is not arrogant or rude. God, may we not be arrogant. May we not be rude. God, please, please, please deliver us from all pride.

Save us from ourselves, God, we pray for an end to pride in us, and God, may we not be rude in any way. In the words we say and our demeanor, and our actions, even in our thoughts, our desires. God, if they were uncovered, may they not be seen as rude. God, we pray that we would not insist our own way. They would yield to others, they would live for your way.

God, we pray that you would keep us from being irritable or resentful.

God, please, please make us as we’ve already prayed, patient and forgiving, and gracious and merciful in this way. Help us not to rejoice at wrongdoing. God, help us to rejoice with the truth. God, when we see someone has failed in this way or that way, help us not to rejoice at that, or when we see sin in this way or that way, help us not to rejoice that. And God, please help us to rejoice with truth, that which is good and right and holy.

We pray, God, that you would help us to bear all things, to believe your word, to hope in your word; what you have said, to hold fast and hope to you and to endure as a result. God, what a picture of love. We pray that you would bottle all that up and make it a reality in our minds, in our hearts, and our lives. We pray for love like 1 Corinthians 13:4–7, and we know that we have asked all these things according to your word. In Jesus name, Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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