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
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.
You know it is said that physical wounds often heal long before emotional wounds. I’ve found this to be true in my own experience. Last week I turned 56 years old (that’s over half a century!). Many words, both good and bad, that were spoken to me as a child have stuck with me. Today, the right word or phrase can make my stomach turn and, even though I’m 56, I find myself flooded with memories of hurtful words spoken long ago when I was a boy of ten. Thankfully by God’s grace, I’ve been able to work through this and I’m not paralyzed by those words said so long ago. As I look at our proverb for today, I am reminded of the power of the tongue. It holds the power of life and death!
Johnathan Akin writes, “Words are powerful. Words like ‘I hate you’ or ‘I love you’ or ‘You will never amount to anything’ or ‘I’m so proud of you’ change lives! Words change history. Words like ‘I have a dream’ or ‘Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall’ shape the course of history. Words can shape the course of eternity: ‘For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.’ (John 3:16); ‘If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved’ (Romans 10:9).”
We speak death and life with our tongues. The choice is ours as to what kind of words we will speak. I know sometimes it feels like we can’t control the words that spill from our mouths, but this isn’t true! You have control. A lack of self-control over words is what destroys marriages, families, and friendships. The price is too high!
Choose, by God’s grace and the Holy Spirit’s power, to speak words that bring life, encourage, edify, strengthen, and build up. You may be thinking, “I got it, Jim, but how do I do this?” Johnathan Akin gives us some insight and a good place to start when he writes, “Words are powerful indeed. The tongue is difficult to tame. But there are words that overcome our sinful and uncontrolled tongues. They are words like ‘Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus’ (Romans 8:1), and words like ‘The fruit of the Spirit is . . . self-control’ (Galatians 5:22-23).”
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:
A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.