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 13
19A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul,
but fools detest turning from evil. (NIV)
I can’t read our verse for today without thinking about delayed gratification. Generally, when I want something, I want it now. It doesn’t matter what it is—going out to dinner, getting in shape, losing weight—in my mind, I live like those things should come quickly. The reality is that they don’t necessarily come as soon as I want them to. What I generally want, if I’m being honest, is self-gratification, not delayed gratification.
Now, since I am being honest, you need to know that I have grown in valuing delayed gratification. I’m learning to savor the taste, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement. So, let me ask you a question. How are you doing with delayed gratification in your own life? Do you see a “longing fulfilled” like something sweet to your soul?
If I were to tell you that waiting should actually encourage you, would that be frustrating to you? Yes, it is true, waiting can actually encourage you! Why do I say that? Paul Trip sums it up better than I could when he writes, “Waiting doesn’t only announce that we’re not in charge; waiting announces that another is in charge, and that’s the best news imaginable. The timing of God is always right, the ways of the Lord are always good and true. His plan is as perfect as it could be. Don’t get discouraged; the King hasn’t abandoned you. His plans are marching on, even if it seems like it’s taking forever.”
Are there areas in your life where you struggle with delayed gratification? Take time now to talk with God about it. Let go of those areas and let God be in charge. And like the words of the old hymn, determine to “trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”
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:
Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the Lord, and he will avenge you.