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 15
1 A gentle answer turns away anger,
but a harsh word stirs up wrath.
Reflection: You know our words really do matter! The NLT says, “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.” Honestly, I winced a bit when I read this proverb. I thought back to my days in the Air Force when I was a First Sergeant. For some reason, I felt I had to be this drill sergeant type. I had no problem lighting someone up if they got out of line. I could be pretty harsh! Oh, how I wish that I could take those words back. If I could go back in time, knowing what I know now, I would have been a much better First Sergeant had I heeded the wisdom in this proverb. Many times, my harshness only made things worse, not better. My harshness showed my foolishness, for my tongue revealed what was in the heart! For out of a wise heart flows wise words, but out of a foolish heart, foolish words—I was a fool. My harsh words didn’t do any good because they pushed the buttons of those on the receiving end.
This proverb gives us wisdom in handling an angry person! It tells us to not respond instinctively with the first thing that comes to your mind. See, our first response is to strike back with harsh words, but this tactic only escalates the level of rage. The right option is a gentle answer because it just tends to defuse an already tense situation.
Remember, the purpose of proverbs is to show us how to live the “good life,” the life God intended us to live. When we’re angry and just “let it fly,” so to speak, without thinking of the consequences, it’s a guarantee that we will end up wishing we could pull those words back. But once the words are out of our mouths, it’s too late! The only way to ensure we don’t speak harshly—foolishly—is to exercise self-control before the words leave our mouths!
What kinds of words will you let come out of your mouth today? Remember that wise words come from a wise heart. Choose today to be self-controlled. Ask God to bring to mind anyone you’ve hurt with your words and ask them to forgive you. You may even want to memorize this proverb.
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:
Every word of God is flawless;
He is a shield to those who take refuge in him.