Love - Tips
OUR FOCUS FOR TODAY
ASK FOR HELP
Whether a tool like a journal or the hand of a friend, we often need resources beyond ourselves to truly love and be loved to the fullest.
YOUR GOAL MATTERS
What measures do you take to track your ability to achieve a life of love in Christ? Pick a moment, a day, a place, a time, and evaluate how well you are doing at loving, praying, and living like Christ.Self:
PRAY TO START
Open in prayers of praise, petition, confession, and thanksgiving each day. Know that God appreciates your love, receives your asks, forgives your shortcomings, and is blessed by your words.
HELP ON THE JOURNEY
Make a point of planning your prayer time. Spending time with God and with others is essential to a healthy and holistic life. Each day and with every shift in your time, make sure prayer is not left to be forgotten even if you have to change the time(s) you have established for prayer along the way.
Love - Pray to Start
Add an opening word of prayer below. You can focus on any, some, or all of the following.
Praise — Lord, I love you because...
Petition — Help me love like you so that...
Confession — Lord, I confess that I have not loved...
Thanksgiving — Thank you for loving me so much when...
Love - Unwind the Text
First, let's write the scripture into your journal. -----
1 John 4:18 | Common English Bible
There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear expects punishment. The person who is afraid has not been made perfect in love.
Now, let's unwind the text a bit.
Spend more time in scripture to better understand the context. Read the full chapter from 1 John. You can download and listen to that chapter audio provided in the 31-Day Prayer Challenge if you are a paid subscriber to Cross Vocational.
Love - Reflect in Context
Reflect on This:
When I look for love where God has love for me, then I'll find myself at peace when...
Love - Pen to Paper
In this exercise you begin by writing your very first thoughts and/or inspirations. If you have a response to the prompt in mind, go for it!
If you have something unrelated buring on your heart that you need to get off of your mind, that works too. There is no right or wrong answer here.
Feel free to use the scripture, focus word for the day, or reflection journal prompt to get started.
In short, write anything, in any way, in any amount. Practice the practice of journaling.
In case you need it, here's that reflection prompt again.
When I look for love where God has love for me, then I will find myself at peace when...
Love - Outline Your Thoughts
Now it's time to outline our thoughts a little bit. I invite you to pray with me. I'll be sharing some of my own writings or thoughts in light of our focus word of love for today. And I'll be sharing those using the five words that are noted in the pray on purpose journal. Those words are mind, body, spirit, outlook, and recognizing. I'm going to take each word and respond to it. To jump-start each reflection I'll begin my responses using the journal prompt. You may find that the scripture is more helpful to you or your own first thoughts from the previous exercises.
- When I look for love where God has love for me, then I find myself at peace in the way I think about loving, loving, that is deep, loving that is kind.
- Here's the prompt again, and my thoughts in light of body. When I look for love where God has love for me, then I find myself at peace in body. My body relaxes my body receives love better. My body gives love better.
- When I look for love where God has love for me, then I find myself at peace in spirit, I'm renewed. I offer my full self. I open up from the deepest of my being so that God is fully present in what I bring to the table.
- Now this word is to help you focus on yourself. For this entry, I've decided to not only be inspired by this word, but to actually use it in my response. Let's begin again with the prompt. When I look for love where God has love for me, then I find myself at peace in the outlook I have for my future. The way I see myself, the way I see myself as a mother, raising my children in the most loving way that I can.
- And this last word, recognizing, use this word to help you focus on others or your relationship with others. Here's that prompt one last time. When I look for love where God has love for me, then I find myself at peace in recognizing the fullness of others, the breadth of their being, the multitude of opportunities that are too many see them all, to love them through, to know God through. I hope to love them so deeply, so passionately that the love that I offer for others is truly a love inspired by God.
May my thoughts on love today, be an inspiration to yours. Be sure to share any of your thoughts in the comments below.
Love - Share Your Story
Who will you share your story with today?
Review the following exercise. Add your thoughts, inspirations, or ideas in light of this activity below.
Pen to Paper Tip: Word Design | Draw and Color
Take a moment in your Pray on Purpose Journal to draw or write the word "LOVE." Outline, stylize, repeat around the page, or draw an image that reflects love in the light of Christ. Come back and color in or around that word or image after you complete the prayer challenge has ended. I recommend doing this on the 1st of the month.
Consider this process of returning to previously used journal pages with your writings (and drawings) as a form of meditating. Re-read your entries, the scripture, and journal prompt over the course of the day, every month, and year-over-year.
NOTE: Pencil, colored pencils, and crayons are all fair game. I'll be keeping with the heading as simply "Pen to Paper" for simplicity throughout this online toolkit.
Here is an example of one of my word drawings. I can't quite color it, but it was a blessed time creating it.
Love - End in Prayer
End your day in prayer.
Add a closing word of prayer below. You can focus on any, some, or all of the following.
Thanksgiving — For what do you want to give God your gratitude?
Praise — How would you like to lift up the God we adore?
Petition — What do you want to ask for yourself and for others?
Confession — For what do you need to ask forgiveness?
If you like this prayer process and want all 31 days of prayer to engage at your pace, get a membership to Cross Vocational. It includes not only the contents provided as demonstrated in this post, but video recordings for every part of the process, audio recordings of scripture readings, and additional add-ons for participating in an online prayer community through more than just the comments feeds provided throughout the challenge contents. (coming early 2023)