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 23
19 Listen, my son, and be wise,
and set your heart on the right path:
20 Do not join those who drink too much wine
or gorge themselves on meat,
21 for drunkards and gluttons become poor,
and drowsiness clothes them in rags.
Sometimes believers will go through the motions of spending time with God, like a checklist approach. “Read my Bible—check! Run through my prayer list—check! Meditate on this passage—…. Oh, wait a minute, what time is my meeting today? Man, I’ve got to get rolling! I’ve got a lot to do today.… Ugh, I’m late. I’ll have to finish this later.” Then off we go charging into the day ahead. Spoiler alert: This doesn’t count as time well-spent with the Lord!
If we are to be wise, then we’ve got to develop active listening skills in which we hear what the Lord is saying to us. So how do we do this? Well, here are three suggestions.
- Pay attention. Put aside distracting thoughts. You might even close your eyes and imagine that you are looking directly at Christ. Determine for the next few minutes to give Him your undivided attention. Be attentive, but relaxed: Determine to be present, like you would be if you were sitting across from a friend having coffee. Don’t allow yourself to go through the motions; be ready to engage in conversation with God. You may even need to move into a different room or turn off your phone notifications to help you get the right posture. (Some people may be able to have a quiet time while lying in bed, but most people probably need to get up and move into a different room where they can sit in a chair.)
- Be open to what the Scriptures have to say. What does it teach about God? What can I learn about people? What does the passage tell me about relating to God? What does it teach about relating to others? What does God want me to understand or think? What does God want me to believe, desire, and to do? These are great clarifying questions for focusing in on God’s wisdom for us.
- Respond appropriately. If God reveals an area in which you’ve failed, repent and turn away from sin. We do this by trusting in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Determine to walk in obedient faith. As you walk in obedience to the light that God has revealed to you, you will receive more light.
Now, it’s time for some practical application. Look at our passage again and ask yourself the following questions: What does it teach about God? What can I learn about people? What does the passage tell me about relating to God? What does it teach about relating to others? What does God want me to understand or think? What does God want me to believe, desire, and do?
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:
One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.