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 24
I went past the field of a sluggard,
past the vineyard of someone who has no sense;
31 thorns had come up everywhere,
the ground was covered with weeds,
and the stone wall was in ruins.
32 I applied my heart to what I observed
and learned a lesson from what I saw:
33 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
34 and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.
The sluggard—or as he’s referred to in the Christian Standard Bible, the slacker—encapsulates a life of folly. What has he gained from all his folly? Thorns and weeds. His property is covered by them; they’re everywhere. His stone fences, which were supposed to keep animals from eating his crops and provide an element of protection, are all crumbling and broken down. In short, his life is falling down around him.
The writer wonders, “how did this happen?” Evidently, at one time, there had a productive vineyard. And what about those weeds, they didn’t just appear. This slacker didn’t wake up one morning, walk outside, and all of a sudden, everything is overgrown. His stone wall didn’t crumble overnight to the point where it was in complete ruin. I bet the fence really puzzled him; it does me. It’s striking because it is a stone wall! So what does it take for a stone wall to crumble? Sustained neglect over a long time! The same is true with overgrown thorns and weeds.
This proverb is highlighting the use of imagery and observation to communicate wisdom. All that the writer sees gets him to thinking. He wants to know how this all happened. He realizes that the slacker was lazy, he was unwilling to commit himself to do what needed to be done. Maybe the slacker thought, “I’ll get to that tomorrow, it can wait till next week or even next year.” Do you see it? It’s procrastination! Inch by inch, moment by moment, with each tick of the clock, the opportunity for him to do something slipped away. One of the realities about time is this: once it’s gone, you can’t get it back! Time continues to march forward, never stopping, always moving. You see, it wasn’t one wrong choice that puts him in this predicament, it was a series of small, seemingly unimportant decisions over a long time that led to everything crumbling around himself.
The writer concludes: Laziness is the height of foolish behavior. Through observation, he determines to learn from what he has seen while there is still time. He doesn’t want to be in the same boat. He understands what he sees can happen to anyone—even to him if he’s not careful. He can just as easily fold his hands and go to sleep. Today, we might describe him as saying, “Note to self: I don’t want that to happen to me—so self, get busy!”
What about you, are there areas in your life where you’ve taken the path of the slacker? Ask God to help you to see—observe—and take action to get off the path of folly and walk the path of wisdom.
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:
Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public squares; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out, in the gateways of the city she makes her speech: “How long will you simple ones love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?