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 5
12 You will say, “How I hated discipline!
How my heart spurned correction!
13 I would not obey my teachers
or turn my ear to my instructors.
14 And I was soon in serious trouble
in the assembly of God’s people.”
As I read Proverbs 5, I couldn’t help but pause when I came to verses 12-14. I thought, “How sad these words are to me!” These are the words of one who lives with regret. A person warned about the two paths in their life: one brings life and the other brings death. These verses are the words of the one who chose death.
Death to what? The lines above this passage give us a glimpse. The loss of honor and dignity. The wasted years of youth. The loss of possessions. The loss of health. A wasted life. A person full of regret reduced to groaning. Don’t pass over this idea of groaning too quickly. It’s a graphic picture. Groaning describes the loud wails of someone in mental anguish who sees no remedy for their misspent life.
Now look back at the verses. Imagine someone closing their eyes, brow furrowed, head hanging low and slowly rocking side to side, wincing as they say to you, “How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction!” Can you feel their regret? Their pain? The anguish in their life? This is the life of one who fails to accept any accountability and fails to heed instruction. This is the result of a life lived for one’s own pleasure. You see, the path of immorality leads to public disgrace and ruin.
I paused when I read the passage. I don’t want to come to the end of my days and be the one who hated discipline and spurned correction. I’m sure you don’t either. The father’s warning is for us as well. Let’s not be foolish. Let’s heed the message.
Determine today to walk in God’s path. If you’ve stepped off God’s path, tell Him. Repent. Live decidedly for Christ. Know that when we “…confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 NIV) Let the joy of forgiveness penetrate your being. Live in the freedom only found in Christ Jesus! Then ask Him to transform your mind. Know that you’re freed from sin. You don’t have to conform to the patterns of this world. You can be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:1-2) Choose today to honor Christ with your life.
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:
Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.