Pray: Tear down my roadblocks, Lord, so I am not blocked by my own assumptions, expectations, or culture when I extend hospitality.
Friday – Day 24
Approaching God – Take a moment and breathe deeply. Do it again. And again. Feel your body, mind and soul relax as you breathe in deeply the lavish love God has for you. Slowly read the following words, letting the power of Christ’s love penetrate your soul.
“I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17b-19)
Listening to God – Read John 4:1-26. Jesus’s hospitality was intentional. He chose to go through Samaria (John 4:4). Jews despised Samaritans and avoided interactions with them at all costs. Jesus could have returned to Galilee by another route but because of his love and hospitality he chose to enter the space of those deemed less worthy. In Jesus’s engagement with the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus ignored and broke through all barriers of race, gender, culture and social class.
Through his hospitality, God offers us his love without conditions, without prejudice, without judgment, expectations or assumptions. In the power of Christ’s rich love for you, let God open up your heart to reveal any conditions, prejudices, judgments, expectations or assumptions standing in the way of you truly reflecting Christ’s love and extending hospitality to others.
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (I John 4:7-8)
Talking with God – After you are done meditating, pray that verse back to God. Is there reason for praise and thanksgiving? Do you need to confess anything? What do you need from God? What do you need to surrender to him? Pray the verse over your three people.
Ministering in God’s Name – Jesus takes a position of humility with the Samaritan woman affirming her worth. His words to her are neither condemning nor judgmental but empowering and life-giving. Commit today to an attitude of humility and to speak words that empower and breathe life into others. How can you affirm today the lives of the three people you are praying for?
Surrendering to God – Surrender your assumptions and your words to God today. Ask him to give you the courage to let go of any hardness of heart standing in the way of living out true hospitality and love to those for whom you are praying.
By Laurie Zuverink