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
Read: Proverbs Chapter 16
9 A person’s heart plans his way,
but the Lord determines his steps.
I don’t know about you, but I’m really good at making plans, especially when they are to my benefit! Sometimes my plans are for what I’m going to do for the day, and other times my planning might be over large chunks of time, maybe even years! Most of the time, the things I’m planning come from my own desires—the things I want to do or accomplish.
Did you notice that I haven’t said anything about the Lord being involved in my planning? This is a rookie mistake! One that I have made, and one that I have to be on constant watch for. You need to be on the lookout for it too! You see, if we don’t have a good grasp of how we should plan, we set ourselves up for a fall.
Proverb 16:9 speaks to this kind of planning. The contrast between what we actually plan and what actually happens—God determines that. It’s reminding us that we can and should make plans, as long as we realize that their fulfillment depends on God—not on our own skills and abilities. God is the one who rules over every step of our planning! The quicker we learn this, the better.
Listen, we go around thinking of all the things we’ll accomplish and how we’ll do them, how long it will take, and down the list, we go—as if we are in complete control of everything. Yet, in reality, we control very little. Think about it for a moment… As I sit here thinking about today and what I have to do, how much of it do I really control? Later today, I’ve got to go across town. I think I’ll make it—I’m planning on it—but honestly, I don’t know for sure if I’ll make it. And what about the cold that I have? How much power do I have in controlling how long I’ll have it, or even if I should have caught it or not? Truth is, there is so much about our lives we don’t control—we are finite beings, we don’t even know the number of our days. This should humble us. This brings you down to the brass tacks: nothing we will do today will get set in motion or find success unless God so decrees it!
James says the same thing in his letter: 13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” 14 Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like vapor that appears for a little while, then vanishes. 15 Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 But as it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So it is sin to know the good and yet not do it. (4:13-17)
As you think about your plans for today and in the future—don’t leave God out. Include God in your plans because the future is in His hands. Determine to hold your plans loosely and hold tightly to God’s plans for you. In all that you do choose to live for God!
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 Week’s Scripture Memory:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.