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 30
10 “Do not slander a servant to their master,
or they will curse you, and you will pay for it.
Proverbs 30 includes the sayings of Agur. He rightly understood that God alone is the one who truly understands the universe and its meaning. After all, God is the one who spoke it into existence. He understood that God’s Word is the supreme source of truth. In this proverb, we find Agur making wide-ranging observations about humans and animals. From these observations, he gives practical lessons about how life works.
One of Agur’s first observations has to do with slander and its effect on relationships. To slander someone is a form of lying. It’s when people speak negatively about someone in ways that defame their reputation. And let’s be clear on this: slander is not constructive criticism, not by a long shot! Slander is accusing someone falsely or with malice intent; it is a flat-out attack on someone’s name and reputation. It’s wrong and it’s a sin! There is nothing good that comes from slander.
Slander happens when we fail to guard our hearts. What comes out of our mouths is a reflection of what’s going on in our hearts. We have to pay attention to the words we use; we don’t get to opt-out of this responsibility. Our words matter!
Washington Irving said, “A sharp tongue is the only edge tool that grows keener with constant use.” Think about that for a moment. Whether it’s a knife, ax, chisel, or any other tool that has a sharp edge, all wear down with use. They need to be re-sharpened to stay in good use. The tongue, however, is fascinating. It only gets sharper the more we use it. For instance, saying something terrible about someone might be hard to do at first, but repeat it and it gets easier to the point where we do it without even thinking about it. If this is true about bad words, the same can be said to be true about right words—words that encourage, build-up, strengthen, and give life. Use these words often enough, and that sharp edge can be used for something wonderful!
Think about the words you use today. Are they to build up or tear down?
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:
Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.