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 17
14Starting a quarrel is like opening a floodgate,
so stop before a dispute breaks out. (NLT)
I don’t know about you, but when I read the word “quarrel,” I think of just some minor disagreement. Oh, how wrong I am to think like this! Quarrels are anything but minor matters. The word quarrel is defined as a heated argument or disagreement, typically about a trivial issue and between people who are usually on good terms. Now, how sad is that?
Patty and I have gotten into a quarrel over some of the dumbest things. Honestly, when we stopped and thought about it, we’re like, “How stupid!” Yet, we’re stubborn and we want to be right, even in trivial matters. That’s right. Most of the time, our arguments are over trivial issues. And I’d venture to say our pride is at the bottom of most arguments—we just want to be right! Yet in our stubbornness, we can unleash incredible destruction in our own lives and the lives of others. That’s the main point of this proverb!
In the New Testament, James addresses this same issue with the following questions. “What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?” (James 4:1 NLT) Let’s answer the second question first—yes! Absolutely, James is right! It’s our own pride and selfishness—those passions that rage inside us that make us ready to fall on our own sword. Now, it’s good to know what’s causing the problem, but what do we do with what we know?
James lists three things to do to keep fights from breaking out. First, he says we should humble ourselves and surrender before God. Then, we’re to resist the devil, and he’ll flee. Finally, he says we’re to move our hearts closer and closer to God, and He will come even closer to us.
Ask God to help you to not be “so quick to quarrel, for an argument is hard to stop, and you never know how it will end, so don’t even start down that road!” (Proverbs 17:14 TPT) If you’re given to quarreling, ask God to show you what is at the root and then confess it to Him. Then, do what James says: humble yourself, resist, and move closer to God.
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:
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.