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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney


"I don't know why they didn't go in. I can't understand it. "If I had been walking along a canal and seen a child drowning I would have jumped in. "You don't have to be trained to jump in after a drowning child.” This was the response of the father of a child who drowned in a pond. He was challenging the non-response of two PCSOs who failed to try to save the child because they ‘were not trained’. The child’s mother added, "If you're walking down the street and you see a child drowning you automatically go in that water…You don't care if you're going to lose your job or not, you don't care do you?”

We all know that to fail to act when we can (and these PCSO might not have been able to swim!) reveals a lack of love. Love requires loving actions. Words must be backed up with action. Jesus taught,

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)

This phrase, often called The Golden Rule, is set in the context of prayer. To pray is to love people as we would want to be loved. If we know the love of the Father toward us, we will pray to Him for the good of those around us.

I hope that we would all say that a true friend prays for their friends. I hope that we understand that to be prayed for is one of the most powerful and kind things that anyone could do for us.

Added to this, we are much more likely to do practical things for those we pray for. As we pray, the Holy Spirit will inspire practical action.

We need the Father to move our heart for people. We need some hunger and thirst. We need to grieve for this poor world. Solomon wrote of love,

‘Love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned.’ (Song 8:6-7)

Prayer is doing for others what we would want them to do for us - if we know what’s truly good for us that is!

The wonderful promise from the text we’ve been looking at this week (Matthew 7:7-12) is that our persistent prayers for the good of those we’re concerned for will be answered with ‘good gifts’ (7:10) from the Father. Circumstances will be improved. Marriages can be restored. Wars can be ended. People can come to faith… Persistent prayer is powerful in the hands of those who love people.


Without love, there is no persistent prayer. Don’t tell me that you love God and people if you are not prepared to pray - to spend time with your Father asking for the good of people.

A Church that loves one another and its community will persist in praying together.

Jesus tells us ‘in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you’. What He commands, He gives the power to fulfil. Let’s put our faith in Jesus’ words and get praying persistently.

Key skill - Add people regularly to your prayer list that your heart is moved with compassion for.



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