Prayer for the City

Our Local Communities

This devotional is written by Anita Jones.

1 Peter 4:8-11

 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.


Out for dinner with friends, I thank one of them as she re-filled my glass. She responds cheekily, 'Well you know me Anita. I live to give'. We have a little chuckle, but later I think about the phrase more seriously.

Live to give.
Jesus said, 'it is better to give than to receive'.
Peter writes, 'each of you use whatever gift you have received to serve others...'

Is this where true happiness and our essential purpose lies? In service, and in the giving of ourselves to others?

Living in London I am faced with opportunities to serve and give daily. How do I stop from feeling overwhelmed by the needs of my local community? How do I make sure I don't burnout trying to be a 'faithful steward of God's grace'?

I offer you three ideas.
One comes from the text - Peter tells us to 'do it with the strength God provides'. This also has the benefit of bringing glory to God. 'Not by might, but by my Spirit says the Lord'. You are not being asked to do something that you can't do!

Choose what moves you, what you are drawn to your strengths. I'm an ex-teacher, it makes sense to offer some tutoring to a local student with limited language skills who is facing an important exam. She then gets invited and feels safe to come along to the next Pizza Movie night at church. Result! I'm also a mum, so I befriend other local mums – even just a smile as we pass each other, a way of building community...a small but significant growing of God's kingdom of love, here on earth.

Third – pray. Ask God to keep you open to Him guiding you where He needs you. Pray for love because ‘love covers a multitude of sins'. Fill up with God's love for London.

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