Week 40 Day 5
I. Prayer to enter the Lord’s presence:
Be still for a moment. “Lord, I give the day that is now past to you. It is yours. I give the day that is to come to you; help me to see where you are working and to join you there. Speak to me during these moments. I commit them and myself to you.”
II. Prayer of Confession:
“Lord, you are faithful to forgive me and cleanse me of my sin when I confess it to you. I confess my sin(s) of ______________. Thank you for forgiveness.” (1 John 1:9)
III. Prayer of Thanksgiving:
Choose to be thankful, speak out loud of what God has done.
“Thank you, Father, for _________________. Fill my heart and my mouth with gratitude throughout this day.”
IV. Scripture Reflection
Psalm 73:16-28 When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors! As a dream when one awakes, so when you arise, O Lord, you will despise them as fantasies. When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.
The Psalmist was sinking into the depths of despair. When he tried to understand what he “thought” he
was seeing in the world around him it was “oppressive.” Some translations say “it was wearisome task.” Trying to figure this out wore him out. It exhausted him emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. But then he “went to church.” He entered the sanctuary of God. The holy place where he encountered God’s presence. There he would have worshipped God with other believers, he would have experienced the declaration of the Word. It was there he “saw” what was really real versus what merely appeared to be real to his physical senses and his rational mind. His heart was restored, God “rebooted” him and he began to operate in the world in line with the way things actually are. He went from despair and discontent to worship and contentment. “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
The Psalmist didn’t place confidence in his own ability to maintain perspective. “My flesh and my heart may fail.” He did, however, have confidence in God’s ability to keep his heart in check, “God is the strength of my heart…” Express your confidence in God’s grace to keep your heart safe. It may not feel true but it is actually true that in our heart of hearts we know that “earth has nothing I desire beside you.” Confess this truth with your mouth to God. Ask him to help you to fully believe and consistently live what is actually true.
V. Prayer for others:
Pray specifically for the concerns of your life and the lives of others.
VI. Prayer of commitment:
“Lord God, I commit to love you with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my strength and with all my mind and to love my neighbor as myself. Empower me today to love you and others with everything that I am.” (Luke 10:27)
This Month’s Scripture Memory:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.