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 18
19 An offended brother is harder to reach than a fortified city,
and quarrels are like the bars of a fortress.
I think this proverb speaks to the value of friendship. It’s a warning to avoid conflict with friends and family because of the many problems that can arise. We must settle disputes in the early stages so we can keep them from escalating into a full-scale war. I’ve seen people who have not handled disagreements in the right way, and now, rather than being good friends, they’re mortal enemies. You’ve probably seen this, too. Once a relationship reaches this point, it’s hard to restore the friendship.
As we live life together with our friends and family, there are inevitably going to be things that we will disagree on. So how do we handle those disagreements? We need to put in the work required to “maintain clear relationships.” (This is one of our Heart Attitudes at River.) It’s got to be a high priority.
If we mess up, we fess up! Jesus said that if we suddenly realize we’ve sinned against someone, we are to stop whatever we’re doing and go apologize to the one we’ve wronged. (See Matthew 5:23-24) This takes humility on our part. Look, anytime you do life together with others, there will be times when you sin against them. It’s going to happen because we’re broken people. We have to be humble enough to recognize our pridefulness and be willing to say, “I’m sorry. Will you forgive me?” We’re not going to be able to worship the Lord as we should until we make things right with others.
We are never to hold a grudge or try to get even with people. Instead, we’re to do what is noble and honorable in everyone’s eyes, regardless of how the other person responds. We’re called to love everyone the way Jesus loves us. If we can see others the way Jesus does, we’ll find ourselves more willing to forgive.
I know that sometimes, no matter what you do, you’re not going to change the other person’s mind. That’s okay; you’re not responsible for the other person’s response, you’re only accountable for your own. So, if it is at all possible, and as far as it depends on you, strive to live at peace with everyone. (See Romans 12:16-18)
Think about your relationships with your friends and family. What kind of shape are they in? What direction are they heading? Are you doing all you can to maintain these relationships?
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.