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 4
1 Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction;
pay attention and gain understanding.
2 I give you sound learning,
so do not forsake my teaching.
There are a lot of different voices competing for our attention. One thing the voices all have in common is this: they think they have life all figured out! Yet we see many of these ideas crumbling before our very eyes. For example, people cry out for equality and justice for transgender people, only to have young biological girls pushed out of sporting competitions because they can’t compete with a biological boy who identifies as a girl. The same people calling out for justice for transgenders are blind to the injustice forced on biological female athletes. It can be hard to navigate life if we don’t have a fixed point of reference from which to navigate. God’s word–His wisdom–is our fixed point of reference.
Here the father is calling on the son to listen and pay attention so that he can gain understanding. We’ve already talked about active listening; we know that it takes work and lots of it to pay attention. You can’t help but hear the passion in the father’s voice. Imagine the father telling his son, “I hope you’re paying attention because you will be tested on this later.” And the test is not a pass or fail, it’s life or death! The instruction the father gives is “sound;” it comes from the voice of experience. Yet the son has a choice as to whether he will receive it or not. As a parent myself, I can relate to the father’s plea. When my kids were young, it was easy to make them do what I felt was right, but as they got older it became evident they would make their own decisions. My role was to do my best to train them but, ultimately, they would decide what path they would walk down.
So it is with us, we each have a choice to make regarding the wisdom of God. Are we going to listen to all of those voices speaking contrary to God’s Word, or are we going to stand firm in His Word? Paul told the Thessalonians to stand firm and hold to the teachings he passed on to them (see 2 Thessalonians 2:15). Isaiah reminds us that “the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8) When we’re challenged by competing voices, we must remember that we stand on the rock of Jesus Christ and that on Him is a firm place to stand. Remember, He doesn’t change like shifting shadows; He’s the same yesterday today and forever (See James 1:17; Hebrews 13:8).
Determined today to listen and pay attention to God’s wisdom. If you’re struggling with all those competing voices, imagine yourself digging your heels in and decide today to trust the One who holds you in His hand. Walk in the wisdom of God.
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.