“All night long on my bed I looked for the one my heart loves; I looked for him but did not find him. I will get up now and go about the city, through its streets and squares; I will search for the one my heart loves. So I looked for him but did not find him. The watchmen found me as they made their rounds in the city. ‘Have you seen the one my heart loves?’ Scarcely had I passed them when I found the one my heart loves. I held him and would not let him go till I had brought him to my mother’s house, to the room of the one who conceived me. Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” – Song of Songs 3:1-5
A Thought for the Day
Love comes in all sorts of different forms; and is sparked in all sorts of different moments. The first laughter from an infant, kindness from a stranger, truly being seen by another, an extravagant act of generosity, and so much more – because love is written into the very fabric of everything.
Can you remember the moments love was sparked into life for you? Take a few minutes to close your eyes and go back to those sights and sounds and smells and emotions.
It often arrives in sweet and gentle whispers, seemingly inconspicuous and unimpressive. But through tending and time grows from a cuddly cub into a powerful lioness, dangerous to those that threaten it and supremely safe to those it trusts.
The love God has for us is far beyond all of these pictures and experiences. It is more powerful than a mother’s love for her children, more vibrant than a couple who have spent the better half of a century together, more deep than the bond between people who have survived the darkest moments of life side by side. And it is ours. It is yours. It is your five’s.
And none of us have to go searching in the night for it or lock it in a room because we are afraid to lose it. It is already here, and it isn’t going anywhere.
As you pray for your five today, pray that their eyes would be open to see, their body to feel, and their mind to know this love from God that is fully theirs. Jesus said that he would draw all to himself, your five are not an exception to that promise. Believe that as you lift them up in prayer today.
Love changes us, without question. The love that others feel for us can be incredibly transformative. So too can the love we feel for others. Pray for your five to make that transition today, for their love towards God to sprout, grow, blossom, and mature into pure adoration.
Praying for your Five:
“Heavenly Father, your love is beyond our wildest dreams. Thank you so much for the love that you have for us, especially all the love you showed us by becoming a man and dying on the cross for us. I don’t want to enjoy this love alone, and am desperate for [say the names of your five] to be able to fully know and feel your love for them. And as they do, tend and nurture by your Spirit the love for you that will emerge from those revelations and experiences. Amen.”
Praying Something Old
According to tradition, Clement of Rome had a series of conversations with the apostles that were written down in something called the “Apostolic Constitutions”. Some of that writing was used as liturgy by the early church, including this prayer. Make it your prayer today and then pray it over your five:
O God, who art the unsearchable abyss of peace,
the ineffable sea of love, the fountain of blessings
and the bestower of affection,
who sendest peace to those that receive it;
Open to us this day the sea of thy love
and water us with plenteous streams
from the riches of thy grace
and from the most sweet springs of thy kindness.
Make us children of quietness and heirs of peace,
enkindle in us the fire of thy love;
sow in us thy fear;
strengthen our weakness by thy power;
bind us closely to thee and to each other
in our firm and indissoluble bond of unity.
Praying Something New
Spend some time with Jesus today. Go for a walk, imagining that he is walking beside you. Sit on a park bench with a cup of coffee, leaving a space beside you for Jesus. Prepare a nice meal and sit and eat, talking to Jesus as you do. Build a relationship with Jesus as you would your closest friend.