A Prayer to Lay Down One’s Life
By Victoria Riollano
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” - John 15:13
True love comes with sacrifice.
I will never forget the first time I walked into Walter Reed Bethesda Military Hospital. As a military spouse, I have always heard of this hospital. It was the hub where presidents are cared for and where military members who have been severely injured would find care. Yet the truth is, I wasn’t prepared for what I would see when I arrived. I had no idea how many men and women I would see who had been amputated, had severe scars, who struggled with mental health issues, and who had sacrificed during their military service. More and more, I started to realize why those who served in the armed forces were true heroes. Even more so, I knew from the depths of my soul that many of my daily privileges were due to these brave men and women.
Yet, this immense thankfulness that I felt every time I entered the building was not just refreshing for me emotionally but reminded me of a deep spiritual truth. Just like the love of one’s country draws military members to action, our God has already done the same. His great compassion and love for us have allowed us to live in freedom, knowing that we will receive the ultimate victory, eternal life. He sacrificed Himself so that I could be free from the bondage of the law and sin. Even more so, because of His choice, I knew that I no longer had to carry the weightiness of my own guilt and shame. I was free to know that even though I hadn’t been perfect and didn’t deserve grace, He did it anyway. He gave of Himself despite the fact that I certainly wasn’t worthy. He paid the price for my freedom. My response to a God who was willing to give it all is pure thankfulness and showing others this same love.
I love how Jesus says it in John 15:12-13 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
My prayer for you today is that you would recognize the depth of this love God has for you and that this love will be a reminder of how we should love one another. May we be willing to serve and care for the needs of others, knowing that our God has done the same. There is no greater love than this! May we always be mindful of the great love that He has had for us that He would give His life for us. And may this love compel us into action and intentional service to the world around us.
Lord, I thank you for loving me. Your death and resurrection on the cross were the ultimate sacrifice for me. God, help me to never take your love for granted. Help me to see your love as a motivator to lay down my life for you and those around me. Teach me how to have eyes to see the needs of others and to be willing to share my resources and support in a way that would bring you honor. Show me Lord how to love and give the way that you would call me to. I thank you for your heart for humanity. You, Lord, are my hero. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Photo credit: ©SalemDesign/BethanyPyle, Video Credit: stock footage from soundstripe.com
Victoria Riollano is an author, blogger, and speaker. As a mother of seven, military spouse, Psychology professor and minister’s wife, Victoria has learned the art of balancing family and accomplishing God’s ultimate purpose for her life. Recently, Victoria released a parenting book called Warrior Mother: Equipping Your Heart to Fight for Your Family’s Faith. This book empowers mothers to find strength in trusting the Lord with their children. Ultimately, her desire is to empower women to live a life of victory, hope, and love. She believes that with Christ we can live a life that is ALWAYS winning. You can learn more about her ministry at victoryspeaks.org.
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Originally published Friday, 18 August 2023.