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
“The leech has two daughters: give, give!” There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say “enough!” Sheol and a barren womb, a land that is not saturated with water, and fire that does not say “enough!”
These Proverbs are meant to be a bit disturbing but the image of two “sister” leeches calling out to you for your blood is especially disgusting. The writer then uses a common literary device of giving an expanding list of things that are dissimilar yet they have a core commonality… “there are three, no four things that are never satisfied.” The leech sisters are never satiated but neither is sheol (the grave) it always demands more. The barren womb is a particularly tragic image of wanting something you do not or cannot possess. Then desert land that sucks up rain drops paints a thirsty picture of wanting, wanting and never satisfied. Finally, fire. Fire literally never says “enough!” The more it is fed the larger it becomes. All of these word pictures describe something that is not mentioned but is clearly implied…unbridled human desire. If we think we can satisfy our desire by giving it whatever it demands we are foolish.
What demands of desire do you give in to? Desire for the praise of others? Desire for pleasure that exceeds what is good and right to have? Desire for more possessions? Desire for more, more, more?
Again, there is good and normal desire but it is not like a couple of sister leeches that take and take and never leave us satisfied. I think you know the difference between good and unhealthy desire if you think carefully. If you are having trouble discerning if a desire is healthy or not healthy then talk to a friend and let them help you think it through. Even “good” desires, like for a child, or a spouse, or another job, or better health…can take our hearts down dark paths. If we become people who demand that God give us what we want then we have left the way of healthy desires in our heart. We can ask, we can work, we can wait…for what we want. But when we demand of God what we think we must have in order to truly live or be happy then we have embraced folly not wisdom. God will not comply with our demands; he is too good a Father for that.
Ask God for what you desire (if it is a legitimate desire) but repent of a heart that bitterly demands that God give you what you believe you must have.
Pay careful attention here, a demanding heart can be very subtle. It may not look at first glance like you are demanding, perhaps it looks like you are “trusting God” for something. But what if he says “no.” What then? Then you know whether you were trusting God or demanding.
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 withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.