The Fruit of the Spirit Study Week 5

Heart"wings" Front Porch Bible Study Series by Karen Jurgens

Week 5: Love

Welcome to our study of the first fruit of the Spirit–LOVE. Let’s allow the Lord to plant seeds of love for others in the fertile soil of our hearts this month. Let’s begin by digging up verses of truth in the Word…

Read: Luke 8:40-42; 49-56

Topic: Intercessory Prayer

Memory Verse: “But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, ‘Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well’” (Luke 8:50 NKJV).

Examine:  God plants seeds of love in our hearts for others who are sick or suffering. He calls us to pray for others and intercede on their behalf.
But how powerful is intercessory prayer?

During Week 2, we studied about Jairus, who had persuaded Jesus to come to his home to heal his dying twelve-year-old daughter. As they pressed through the throngs of people, Jesus suddenly stopped and addressed a woman with an issue of blood who had been healed by touching the hem of His tallit or prayer shawl.

After they had resumed their walk, one of Jairus’s servants came running with a report that Jairus’s daughter had just died and not to trouble the Teacher any longer. “Do not be afraid, only believe and she will be made well,” Jesus answered (verse 50), and “Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping” (verse 52).

Although the mourners ridiculed Jesus for His words, the Lord took His three closest disciples and the girl’s parents into the room where she lay.  “But He put them all outside, took her by the hand and called, saying, ‘Little girl, arise.’ Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And He commanded that she be given something to eat” (Luke 8:54-55).

Discuss:  Does someone you know have a situation or illness that appears hopeless?
Intercessory prayer tills the soil where God plants miracles Others may express disbelief, but we should model Jesus who ignored the naysayers. His miracles always bring glory to the Father and prove His identity as the Son of God.

Notice how faith works concerning both pleas for healing in Luke 8. The woman with the issue of blood reached out to touch Jesus’s tassels on the edge of His tallit. Hers was an example of direct prayer on her own behalf–not of intercession. Many people were pressing against Jesus in the crowd, and He hadn’t been aware of her presence until after He had felt power go out of Him. She had seized and received her healing through her great faith.
“And He said to her, ‘Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace'” (Luke 8:48 NKJV).

But the little girl couldn’t reach out–Jesus came to her bedside and touched her on behalf of her father’s intercession.
Isn’t it wonderful to realize that we, as intercessors, have the power to bring Jesus to the bedside of those for whom we pray?

Does a situation look impossible? That’s no reason to be discouraged or to give up.
Our job is to keep praying and interceding on behalf of others. Jesus may be ready to perform miraculous healings in answer to our prayers, according to His perfect will. What a glorious day of rejoicing when we witness His healing touch!

How has your life been changed through intercessory prayer?

Prayer:  Dear Lord, thank you for showing us Your perfect love through answering intercessory prayer. Erase our doubts by helping us grow in our faith so that we believe in Your miracles. May we not only reach out and touch the hem of Your garment for our healing, but may we faithfully intercede on behalf of others. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much ~ James 5:16.

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  1. Karen, thank you for your excellent focus on intercessory prayer today. When we think of the first Scriptural “fruit of the spirit” which is love (Galatians 5:22-23) I know that intercessory prayer for others and those that are prayed on our behalf is a precious example of love. It is also a powerful remembrance that with God nothing is impossible. j

    1. How very true, Joyce. Nothing is impossible with our God! When I think of God’s love, it’s so deep and wide. Just infinite! He shows us His love in so many ways— most of all through our salvation He paid for at the cross. As we are filled to overflowing, His love spills out of our hearts, back to Him and also to others. It’s so wonderful to intercede for the needs of others and then hear them tell their stories of victory. I never tire of hearing those!

      I am looking forward to studying other aspects of love this month. Can’t wait to share those with you too! ❤️ xoxo

  2. Times and situations may seem hopeless. I am thankful to God for giving me hope in my health and my writing journey and my whole life. He fills me with hope. 🙂

    1. Isn’t the Lord merciful to us as we journey through life, Mimi. How can we live without Him? Not only does He fill us with His love for others, but He gives us hope. Hope is what keeps us looking to Him for the fulfillment of His promises. Have a blessed week, dear friend. ❤️

  3. Love the photo of the seeds sprouting. I am praying seeds of love are sprouting in all my words and actions. To think that a small seed planted in someone’s heart can truly make a difference. What a blessing from God! 🙂

    1. How true! It’s the small things that make the difference. Who knows how many apples can come from one seed? The same with our words. May all our words and actions sprout future forests of fruitful trees! I know your words are full of love, dear Mimi. Blessings! ❤️

  4. In answer to your question about how has my life been changed through intercessory prayer, first I would say that the more I intercede for someone, the dearer they become to me, and the more I love them. Seeing God answer our prayers, builds my faith. But God also teaches me patience, perseverance, and peace as we wait on Him. Interceding forces me to wait in His Presence as I seek His guidance. While I rejoice that God delights in our prayers, I pray to never forget that what is most important is that He moves in His power, and then receives all the glory.

    Yesterday, I found this memory from 2011: “Went to church with a heavy heart, saddened over the tumult,confusion, and aimlessness in someone’s life. Then was reminded again that the fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much! Thankful for a God who encourages and strengthens us! And His mercies are NEW every morning!”

    I love that “the fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much”! This is a faith-building promise! And these written memories of how God was working and encouraging us, leading us to prayer, even 8 years ago, also build our faith. Mainly, intercessory prayer changes me because it brings me closer to God.

    1. Love your comment, dear Becky. Isn’t it wonderful to look back and see how the Lord has worked in our lives’ situations? Yes, intercession is so faith-building! Not only does it bless others, but it boomerangs back and blesses the sender. And yes, it softens our hearts toward our dear ones we pray for—especially our enemies. The way to true forgiveness when wronged or hurt is to intercede for that person.

      Only the Lord knows how effective our prayers are—past, present, and future—but we are called to battle on our knees. My mother literally saved my life through her prayers for me and my daughters when we went through the dark valley of a Judas Experience 25 years ago. It’s such a joy to have a praying mother. My prayer is to pass on that gift of love to my family and bless others who cry out for prayer. It’s one of the most important things we can do on earth.

      He keeps all our tears in a bottle in heaven. The Lord is caring and compassionate, even numbering the hairs on our head. This month of studying love is so rich!

      Blessings, dear friend! ❤️😘

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