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 12
25 Anxiety in a person’s heart weighs it down,
but a good word cheers it up.
My favorite translation of this Proverb comes from the NLT, “Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.” Read it and truth just rings out loud and clear. Anxiety is hard to deal with and if we don’t deal with it appropriately, it can become like a weight bearing down on us. Anxiety is an unpleasant emotion akin to worry that is experienced in anticipation of some (usually ill-defined) misfortune. It’s a normal emotional reaction to many different kinds of events and situations in our lives. The problem comes when we let those anxiety-laced thoughts nest in our heads. If we don’t do anything about them, depression can set in.
Thankfully the antidote to anxiety is an encouraging word! A well-placed or well-timed word can go a long way in helping an anxious person change their perspective. I’m not talking about flippant words that seem to downplay or invalidate one’s feelings. I’m talking about words that penetrate the surface of the situation—words that offer clarity—encouraging words that go beyond the situation because the option of changing the circumstances may not even be a possibility. Words that, despite the situation, give one the courage to face the situation. Words of truth that encourage others are filled with kindness and insight, which helps a person gain the right perspective and a renewed hope and confidence. These are the kinds of words that bring healing!
This proverb implies that we should seek to become people whose speech is filled with encouragement. Our speech has a direct impact on people’s lives. Being a person who offers encouragement should be one of our top priorities. I can’t think of a better way to love others than being a person who speaks truth in encouraging ways. Paul’s words offer us a great starting point, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8). The things we think about shape our hearts. Get good stuff in your heart, and you’ll produce good because the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
Guard your speech today. Determine to be a person of encouragement and allow the meditation of your heart to bubble over in ways that allow you to offer encouragement to those who are weighed 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:
Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise.