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 19
13 A foolish son is his father’s ruin,
and a wife’s nagging is an endless dripping.
There’s just all kinds of wrong in this proverb! It’s certainly not a compelling vision for one to aspire to. Look at how the New Living Translation puts this verse:
A foolish child is a calamity to a father;
a quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping.
The vice is foolishness and nagging…ugh! Being around people who employ both vices is frustrating, and it can suck the life right out of you. Back when this proverb was written, the father would look to his son to carry on the family and its business. The father is counting on his son for the survival of the family! Just imagine the brokenness as the father sees his son folding his hands and acting foolishly in regard to the rest of the family. Jobs and family dynamics may have changed, but the emotions one feels when a child acts foolishly are still the same. Because of love for their child, parents feel deeply the troubles brought on by the foolish choices a child makes. It can be heartbreaking at times.
Then there’s nagging. One of the worst things that can happen if you’re living around a fool is to have someone constantly nagging you! It’s like a double barrel shotgun—instead of double-aught buckshot, it’s doubled-aught frustration and irritation! And before we go any further, know this: nagging isn’t exclusively something women do, it applies to men too! You can substitute “husband” for “wife.” Nagging has the sense of bitter conflict and discord, strife and dissension, contention and quarreling—and anyone can bring that into a relationship. The relentless drip, drip, drip, of conflict and strife just wears one down.
What’s valued in this proverb is not explicitly stated, but it is clearly seen—it’s wisdom! The wisdom to not walk on the path of the fool or the nagger! Wisdom helps us to see our circumstances as they truly are; one of its virtues is what’s called “prudence.” It helps us to carefully consider a situation before reacting foolishly or responding emotionally or simply out of habit.
Wisdom’s path would have us watch the way we talk! Wisdom says “don’t let anything foul or dirty come out of our mouth, but rather, say only what helps others, for each word is a gift.” (Eph. 4:29) Do you see the virtue in doing this? These kinds of words contribute to benefiting others, not tearing them down. The fool, the nagger, put no thought into the words they use, they just let them flow—drip, drip, drip. But the wise speak words of life, words that build others up.
Yes, there are all kinds of wrong described in this proverb, but praise the LORD, we can walk a different path! Choose today to walk in the wisdom of the LORD! If you’ve been foolish, stop. If you have a tendency to nag, then stop. You, with the help of the Holy Spirit, ask God to help you speak words that build others up, not tear them down.
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:
Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops.