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 25
24 It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic
than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home. (NLT)
Have you been in an attic lately? I have and it’s not the most comfortable place to be. The attic in my house has rafters to navigate, there’s insulation everywhere, and to make it even worse, the nails holding the shingles on are protruding through the decking on the roof. During the summer the attic is sweltering and in the winter it’s freezing. Yet our proverb today makes it clear that having a little bit of space with solitude in the attic is way better than living in a house with an argumentative and quarrelsome spouse. We all know what it’s like to be nagged, and we don’t like it. The metaphor used in our proverb makes it clear just how far we’ll go to escape being nagged.
Nagging doesn’t help, build up, encourage, or strengthen anyone. There’s no benefit to it at all! So, here’s a question for you: how would those closest to you describe you? If the words “griper,” “grumbler,” “complainer,” or “angry” come to mind, it ought to make you wince.
Let me be honest with you (so no one thinks I’m picking on them!), a few of these descriptors came to my mind as I thought about what Patty might say about me. Listen, I don’t want to be described as a nagger and I’m sure you don’t either. So what do we do?
We can start by saying we’re sorry for the way we speak to those we love. We can ask them and God to forgive us. Moving forward, we can think about the words we use and make sure that they are good and helpful words. Words that would be an encouragement to those who hear them. We should remember how powerful our words are. What we say matters, and we’re going to be held accountable for every careless word we speak. To change our bad patterns of speech takes effort. It may have to become a top priority, but we can do this by eagerly seeking to strengthen and encourage one another. We’re not going to do this perfectly, but we should be able to do it in a way that is ever increasing. Remember, it’s not perfection but direction that matters. (See: Ephesians 4:29, Matthew 12:36, and Romans 14:19)
Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit today with the words you use. Put a leash on your tongue. Don’t let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is good for building up 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:
As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.