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
22 A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.
This proverb makes me think of the old question, “Are you a glass-half-full or a glass-half-empty kind of person?” I know there have been all kinds of jokes made about this question, but it really is an important one. One’s outlook on life has a lot to do with their physical being. Our attitudes can have a significant impact on our physical health. I know it’s crazy to think about, but a positive and healthy outlook on one’s situation can aid healing. The opposite is true as well. Focusing on how bad everything is in a given situation can lead one to spiral down, causing the situation to get worse. Loneliness, anxiety, and depression have a debilitating effect on people. And to make it even worse, one’s outward demeanor doesn’t always match what’s going on in one’s inner life.
It’s funny to me how scientific evidence now suggests what the Bible has already told us! Being happy may have significant benefits for health! Being happy promotes a healthy lifestyle. It even helps fight against stress, boosts your immune system, protects your heart, and reduces pain. What’s more, it might also increase your life expectancy.
So, let’s go back to the question we started with: what kind of person are you? Are you a glass-half-full or a glass-half-empty kind of person? Our proverb is clear. Each of us should be a glass-half-full person! A cheerful person. A person who is a blessing to be around. A person who lights up a room.
Some of you might be thinking, “Jim, you’re asking me to be somebody I’m not.” My response is simply this: if you’re a follower of Christ, you have reason to rejoice, regardless of your circumstances. I’m in good company, too. The Apostle Paul’s advice to the Thessalonians was pretty simple: “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT) Paul would tell the Philippians essentially the same thing. “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!” and “Don’t ever limit your joy or fail to rejoice in the wonderful experience of knowing our Lord Jesus! I don’t mind repeating what I’ve already written to you because it protects you.” (Philippians 3:1 NLT and 4:4 TPT)
Determine to have a cheerful heart today. Be joyful. Let your love for Christ overflow into the lives of others.
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:
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and the one who is wise saves lives.