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 21
23 The one who guards his mouth and tongue
keeps himself out of trouble.
As I sit here reflecting on this proverb, I’m reminded of times when I have not done a good job of guarding my tongue. Without going into all the details, I can remember a conversation in which I knew I needed to keep my mouth shut, but the thoughts in my head just wanted to be blurted out! These thoughts were powerful; it was like they were pounding on the walls of my brain. I could literally feel the words just sitting on the tip of my tongue. In my mind, those words were goading me to just let them out. There was a battle going on in my mind, but my spirit was saying, “Jim, keep your mouth shut… take those thoughts captive… you’re going to regret letting them out… don’t do it!”
On that particular day, I lost the battle. I gave in and I blurted out those words that had been racing around my head. Oh, I’m not going to lie! It felt good in the moment. It felt good and right. I was doing what I wanted to do. And that’s the problem, isn’t it? It was what I wanted to do! I wanted to determine what was right and what was true. And just like so many other times, once the words left my mouth, I was filled with regret and shame for the things I had said. I was wrong. My words were hurtful. They weren’t words to build up, strengthen, and encourage, but they were words that filled me with shame. I’m sure as you read my confession, you can relate.
James writes about the difficulties of controlling the tongue (chapter 3). He knows that we will stumble in many ways and that if we’re going to control our bodies, we first have to control our tongues. James compares the tongue to a raging fire or a wild animal. In some ways, taming the tongue is harder than anything we may do. James is not saying that we can’t control and tame the tongue, but rather that it is difficult to do so without the Lord’s help. It is doable if we commit to guarding our hearts and walking in the wisdom from above—God’s wisdom.
As you go about today, determine in the power of God’s Holy Spirit to guard your tongue. “Submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:7-8 CSB)
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.