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 20
3 It is to one’s honor to avoid strife,
but every fool is quick to quarrel.
Strife, it’s an interesting word, and it’s one you don’t hear used much anymore. Strife describes angry and bitter disagreement over fundamental issues. It means intense conflict. Our proverb for today makes it clear that the fool doesn’t avoid conflict and is quick to get into an argument or fight. The fool is easy to recognize because most of the time they have a scowl on their face. It’s like they’re saying, “Go ahead, say something!” so they can just bite your head off! They’re never happy, always dissatisfied, they’re gripers and complainers, ready to go toe-to-toe with anyone and everyone. Today we describe them as hot-headed.
An honorable person avoids this kind of behavior and makes it a point to avoid strife. Remember Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9 NIV) And Paul encourages us, “If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18 NIV).
I know we can’t avoid all conflict, but we should do our best to live at peace with others. Many times, the things we fight over are trivial. If we’d only stop and think about what we’re arguing about before it gets out of control, we’d be better off.
An honorable person understands the value of stopping before inappropriate and harsh words spew out of his or her mouth. They understand the significance of maintaining a “right relationship” even with the most challenging people.
One way we live this proverb out is by loving people the way Jesus loves us. Are you willing to forgive people? Can you show others the same grace Jesus has shown you? Can you love others in spite of their shortcomings—just as Jesus has loved you?
Do you jump at the chance for conflict or do you look for ways to avoid strife? Wrestle with this question. Determine to get busy loving people as Christ loves you.
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.