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 17
4 Wrongdoers eagerly listen to gossip;
liars pay close attention to slander.
We’ve already thought about what it means to listen and pay attention. We understand that listening is not just hearing audible sounds and noises but is an effort to understand what is being said by another. Paying attention means to heed what someone is saying, to be attentive to their words. This is a good thing if our ears are tuned to the right message! Our proverb makes it clear that gossip and slander are the wrong messages, and those who listen to it are gossipers and slanderers, too! We’re not called to live like them.
“There is a Jewish saying that a slanderous tongue slays three: the slanderer, the slandered, and the third party who listens. Keep in mind that slander can consist of either truth or falsehood. Any statement that is designed to undermine or discredit a person behind his back is slander—whether true or false.” (Hale)
Tune your ear to the right message. Put both hands on the dial and keep the static of gossip and slander out. Now would be a good time to remind ourselves of the teacher’s words found in Proverbs 4.
“Dear friend, listen well to my words; tune your ears to my voice. Keep my message in plain view at all times. Concentrate! Learn it by heart! Those who discover these words live, really live; body and soul, they’re bursting with health. Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts. Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust.” (Proverbs 4:20-27 MSG)
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:
Good judgment wins favor, but the way of the unfaithful leads to their destruction.