“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
(Pray out loud if you are in a place where you can do so, and remember, that today’s prayer is crafted using the scriptures above):
Father God, I thank you for pruning me so that I can bear more fruit, and that the fact you have pruned me means that I have born fruit in the past and you are preparing me to continue to bear fruit that remains. Forgive me for the ways I have tried to do things apart from you or ahead of you because I know that apart from you I can do nothing. I don’t want to bear just any kind of fruit. I want to bear fruit that remains.
I cherish the reality that when I remain in you and your words are in me, that my prayer life becomes exciting as I pray and see those things come to pass. I know my prayer life with you will only be as strong as my relational connection with you in the friendship you invite me into. I thank you that I am not one who solely serves and follows you but that you call me your friend. I thank you that I am invited to walk in friendship with you and as your (daughter, son) my value to you is not based on what I do or how I perform. Teach me how to work not just for You but with You. Thank you that you empower me when I remain in You and that completes my joy.
In you, I find my peace, joy, rest and strength. I ask that you refresh my connection with You today and throughout this year. Whenever I am tempted to do anything apart from you, would you quickly remind me to reconnect with you and walk with you in the cool of the day as Adam and Eve did. I thank you that you demonstrate for me that it is through connection with you, not the toil of my own hands, that great fruit is produced in me and through me. It is a joy to partner with you and I thank you that you invite me to do that as your child and your friend. In your name I pray, Amen.
Prompts for Journaling:
Multiple prompts have been provided. Take your time and don’t feel pressure to complete all of them in one sitting. You can extend your journaling throughout the month if you don’t have time to complete responses to all prompts today.
**Remember, as you connect with God in prayer, it is two-way conversation with Him. He responds to our prayers, questions, worship, etc, with thoughts, promptings, sensings, creative ideas/strategies, etc. Record what He shares with you and follow His counsel.
- Write a letter to yourself from God as He prompts you with His thoughts toward you. Invite God to speak to you about how you have grown as you have been pruned over this past season. Let Him show you what is “good” and the fruit that remains that has been produced in you and through you over this last season in your marriage, friendships, family, ministry etc. Let your Father celebrate “what’s good.”
- Ask God to reveal to you ways that you tried to accomplish things outside of His strength and connection with Him in 2022 (or over the years). Ask Him to forgive you for the times you didn’t abide in Him, and invite Him to reveal to you how to be more intentional about connecting with Him in 2023 and beyond.
- Connect with God about what it means to not only work for Him but also with Him in your spheres of influence including your job/co-workers, family and other relationships, etc. In prayer and conversation with Him, invite Him to show you practical ways to remain in Him and partner with Him as it relates to various areas of your life, family, work, ministry etc.