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
26 The godly give good advice to their friends;
the wicked lead them astray.
Oh, the beauty and strength of healthy friendships. We were created as social beings. Friendship is an important element in a fulfilled and contented life. In fact, the Hebrew word used here for “friends” is used 187 times in the Old Testament. It’s translated as a “friend” or “neighbor.” It has a sense of deep affection and intimacy. One of the best examples of this kind of friendship is King David and Jonathan; their relationship is one we would describe as closer than a brother.
Paul is also one who cherished and cultivated deep relationships. One only has to read Paul’s letters to see just how much. Folks like Aquila and Priscilla, Onesiphorus, Philemon, Timothy, Barnabas, Luke, and a host of others. Paul was always filled with praise and affection for each of them. Think how encouraging it must have been for Onesiphorus to read Paul’s words about him: “…for he often refreshed me…!” (2 Timothy 1:16 ESV) You know that must have warmed Onesiphorus’ heart! Paul knew the value of healthy and robust relationships!
It’s true—having the right kind of friends enriches life! If you think for a moment about some of your deepest friendships, you know the value and benefits of having them.
So, what is it that makes these kinds of friendships so enriching? It’s love! You see it in our proverb for today. Here we see a true friend loving someone enough to speak truth into their life. They’re willing to put another’s interests above themselves. It’s a beautiful thing to see! Jesus tells us the same thing when he says, “Love your neighbor [neighbor is the same Hebrew word for a friend] as yourself. (Matthew 22:39 NIV)
Friendships are wonderful, but we’ve got to make sure we’re nurturing the right kinds of friendships. Decide today to cultivate strong and healthy relationships. Be a Jonathan to someone. Pour your life into others as Paul did. Love your friends as you would love yourself.
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:
Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.