Prayer offered (by the Lord Jesus Christ): "O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee: but I have known Thee, and these have known that Thou hast sent Me. And I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them" (John 17:25-26).
Prayer answered: "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).
Through Christ, we experience the love of God for us, and we experience the love of God in us. We find ourselves enabled to self sacrificially love our Lord and people in a way not possible apart from the indwelling Holy Spirit. In fact, God's love is perhaps best known and understood not as we receive it for ourselves, but as it flows through us unto bestowal upon others.
"It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).
Growth in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus increasingly directs our attention outward and away from ourselves. "Charity... seeketh not her own" declared the Apostle Paul, who himself experienced the character of God formed in his heart to the degree that he sacrificed himself for the Christ and the Christians he once persecuted (I Corinthians 13:5). Paul knew and believed that the reception of God's love involves the infusion of God's love into our spirits. We may not realize it, and we may not always believe and respond to it, but the truth is nevertheless always true. The Spirit of Christ lives in us, including His self sacrificial heart of devotion to His Father and to others. To the degree we know, believe and submit ourselves to such wonder is the degree to which we walk accordingly. "Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints; that the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus" (Philemon 1:5-6).
Never must the born again believer pray, "Lord, give me love so that I can love." We rather affirm, "Lord, thank You that by Your Spirit, Your love is poured out into my heart by the presence of the Holy Spirit. I believe Your Word, and I acknowledge Your working in me to be whatever You would have me to be for Your glory and the blessing of my world." Upon this basis of grace already given, and the affirmation and submission of faith, Christ walks in us and we walk by Him in unselfish devotion to God and others. Our Lord receives all the glory, our particular world is blessed, and we discover that the heartbeat of the Divine - "it is more blessed to give than to receive" - is now our heartbeat as well.
"The grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus."
(I Timothy 1:14)