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 20
9 Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure;
I am clean and without sin”?
I like how this verse is stated in the New Living Translation, “Who can say, ‘I have cleansed my heart; I am pure and free from sin’?” Answer: No one! Not on your own. This proverb really shows the weakness of humanity. We are incapable of saving ourselves, even keeping ourselves. This verse shows us how easily we can slip into self-deception. Remember, we are finite beings who are incapable of plumbing the depths of our brokenness.
Romans 3 reminds us of our guilt before God—of our sin. Today any talk of sin outside the community of believers is seen as old fashion and archaic. Sin has become a meaningless term to the world around us. But I believe if they were honest and genuinely looked at their plight, they would agree with Paul, something is wrong! Think about how humanity has done on its own, and you’ll conclude that it’s not very good at all. I read this note in my study Bible that sheds some clarity, “During the past century more than thirty-nine million people lost their lives in wars. And by conservative estimates, human governments killed an additional 125 million people—led by Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, and others. The root problem is that humans are often practical atheists even when they profess belief in God. They choose against God’s will and show no fear for it.”
Sin is a serious issue—all sin, not just what we consider to be the big ones. When I was a new believer, I used to think I could go weeks without sinning—it’s true! I would tell Patty, “I went the whole week without sinning.” HOW FOOLISH OF ME!!! I’m embarrassed even writing it. It showed my ignorance of the scriptures and a lack of understanding about the idea of righteousness, let alone not understanding how grave my own depravity indeed was. It was such a prideful, self-centered way of thinking.
This proverb serves as a warning to us about self-centeredness and the pride that is at its very center. Do you see it in the proverb? “I have kept; I am clean!” The writer is describing one who thinks all of their decisions and motives are faultless–it’s their works, ability, and their own efforts that have removed sin and guilt. It’s the very definition of pride! Now I don’t know about you, but I’m far from faultless. The way it generally works in my life is as soon as I confess and repent of my sin, sin begins to creep right back into my life! Rather than filling us with pride, this proverb should lead us to humility! Why? Because none of us can say, we’re without sin. And oh, what a terrible place to be if this is where our story stopped, but it doesn’t! The Bible tells us that if we confess our sins, God will forgive us—and He will cleanse us, purify us, from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9) This happens when we believe the Good News, it begins the process of restoring the glory of God’s original creation.
Thank God for making a way back to Him through Christ Jesus. Confess any sin in your life. Ask Him to reveal any hidden sins and then confess those as well. Ask God to give you the courage to walk the right path—to choose the right forks in the road. Live for His glory!
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:
As iron sharpens iron,
so one man sharpens another.