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 27
1 Don’t boast about tomorrow,
for you don’t know what a day might bring.
Here, we have a strong warning not to boast about tomorrow. The second line tells us why: we’re limited in controlling what will happen in the future. In other words, God is the sovereign one, not us.
We only have to look around at everything that happens in the course of a day to see just how little control we actually do have.
Let me give you a simple example that shows just how little control we have. Sunday evening after church, I went home and planned to spend the rest of the evening watching the NFL playoff games. It was a cold evening, so I fired up the fireplace, put on my PJs, and settled in, expecting to watch an exciting game of football. After the game, I checked my phone only to discover that there was a water leak at the church! Now, rather than getting ready for bed, I’m off to figure out what was leaking—at 10 p.m.! As it turns out, the hot water heater had sprung a leak!!!
Here’s my point with the example: all of my planning would not have prevented the water heater from leaking. Had I been sovereign over future events, I would have picked another day for that to happen, if at all. See, I could boast about all I was going to do that evening, but in the end, it would have just been a bunch of hot air. I was forced to get up, change my clothes, and go to work—I had very little control of the event.
In the big scheme of things, I know a water leak is small potatoes, yet big things can just as quickly happen and frequently do come out of nowhere.
That’s why we’d do well to heed Jesus’ advice in Matthew 6:25-34. It’s a challenging passage in which Jesus tells us not to worry about all the things we can’t control and instead trust God for all He’s promised to supply. In the end, Jesus says, “Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” The idea Jesus wants us to grasp is that God knows what’s going on in our lives, and He is going to give us all that we need. We can trust Him.
So what do we do with this? Do we just sit back and let the chips fall where they may? No, not at all.
James 4:13–16 takes up the same issue. We’re not to make plans without considering what God wants. We should plan ahead, but we must hold on to our plans loosely. God’s desires should always be at the center of our planning. He is sovereign, not us.
A theologian once said:
“One must live from day to day, grateful for the life which he has from God, with the awareness that it may be withdrawn at any time and that he must not speak or plan as if he himself had full disposal of his destiny and power over the future.”
Are you presuming on God’s future? If so, humbly hold loosely to your plans and lay them before the Lord, and simply say, “If it’s the Lord’s will, I will ______________.” Now let God know you want Him at the center of your planning.
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:
Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.