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
Do not envy the wicked,
do not desire their company;
2 for their hearts plot violence,
and their lips talk about making trouble.
Envy is not good. Envy’s relatives are jealousy and covertness—they are all closely related. It’s easy to tell when envy is beginning to raise its head because we start to desire something that doesn’t really belong to us. One theologian states the similarities between envy and its relatives like this: Envy is a reaction to lacking something that another person possesses. Jealousy is a reaction to the fear or threat of losing something, or often someone, we possess. Envy is the distress or resentment we feel when others have what we have not.
If you want to see examples of envy, you don’t have to look far—there is Cain and Abel, Rachel and Leah, and Saul and David, to just mention a few. When you think about the devastating results of these instances, it’s pretty clear why we’re not to envy. But we can get an even better picture of why we’re not to envy by looking at ourselves.
Now I started to give you an example from my own life, but I thought it best to stop and instead ask you to think of the ways envy has worked in your own heart. When I say “heart” I’m using it, in the same way it’s used in Proverbs—meaning the thinking, choosing, emotional you—the core of your being. I think it’s essential to look at envy from this level because it’s here where the most damage can be done.
Know this: Envy is an issue of the heart!
The cure for envy is to draw close to God. Remember Asaph from the Psalms? He struggled with envy to the point where his feet had almost slipped! But then he entered into the presence of the Lord. And it was there that his heart was freed from the envy that had captured it. He closes out Psalm 73 with these words, “My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. …as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign LORD my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.” This is what it looks like to walk the path of wisdom –a path free from envy.
If you’re struggling today with envy, confess it and ask God to let you see it for what it truly is. Then commit your actions, thoughts, and passions, to Christ and ask the Holy Spirit to help you restrain your envious desires. You can even enter into His presence and worship Him right where you are. Triumphantly trust Him to keep your feet from slipping and rest in the shelter of the Most High!
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 is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. She will set a garland of grace on your head and present you with a crown of splendor.”