For the month of May, we will be Praying Through The Proverbs. Unlike a Bible study, we will simply pray a few key Scriptures each day. We’ll concentrate on how these verses apply to our individual lives, and ask God to reveal to us if there is anything specific we need to repent of or work on. Today we’ll pray through Chapter 6*.
Key Verses in Chapter 6:
v.1-2 …put up security for your neighbor….in pledge for another..
These verses don’t speak to generosity; they refer to when we overextend ourselves financially; when we make irresponsible decisions that put us in debt. We must find a balance between generosity and good stewardship…always keeping our own – or our family’s – needs as our priority. (Notice I said our “needs,” not our every desire or whim. 😉 )
v.10 -11 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest – and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.
Don’t give in to the temptation for laziness. Sleep and rest is good….which is why God gave us the Sabbath. But we should not rest when we should be working. If we allow laziness to get in the way of our responsibilities, we may face scarcity – perhaps even poverty – and end up working harder to get out of debt than if we had just done the work when we should have.
v.16 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him….
Other temptations to avoid. The phrasing implies the list is not exhaustive, although it is specific: pride, lying, shedding of innocent blood, scheming, rushing into evil, false witness, stirring up dissension among brothers (believers).
v.20 My son, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
v.23 For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life…
While these verses may have been written to the young adult, they still apply in our midlife. If you are struggling with a decision, seek out the advice of your parents or some other trusted elder. Their years of experience may have given them just the wisdom you seek.
v.25 Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes….
Lust is a temptation for both men and women. How many times have you heard a woman say the most attractive physical feature of a man is his eyes? The enemy doesn’t limit his power of temptation to overt sexual assault! If you find yourself attracted to a man, or preoccupied with thoughts of them, ask God to help you change your desires before you “wander” into sin….then fill yourself with God’s Words and surround yourself with supportive Christian friends. And by all means, separate yourself from that person!
v.27 Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?
v.31 Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold, though it costs him all the wealth of his house.
v.32 But a man who commits adultery lacks judgment; whoever does so destroys himself.
v.33 …and his shame will never be wiped away…
Some people think it’s okay to sin (ie. sex outside marriage, or adultery) if no one gets hurt, or they don’t get caught. But in reality, someone always gets hurt! Spouses are devastated, children are scarred, trust is broken, there’s the possibility of disease or pregnancy. And even if you don’t get caught, engaging in a sexual – or even just an emotional – relationship with someone outside your marriage will certainly reduce, if not remove, your desire for and your ability to relate to your spouse. 🙁
Father God, I humbly enter this, my secret place, and acknowledge I am in the Presence of the One True God. Thank You for meeting me here. Forgive me so I can stand in Your Presence clean and holy.
Show me how to be a good steward of my finances. I know that everything I have is a gift from You, so channel Your abundance through me in a manner that brings glory to Your Name. Help my husband and I to be in agreement about how to spend, and how to save. Guide us in making wise choices in paying down our debt so that we may live more generously.
Guide me in setting goals in line with Your vision for my work, Father, then show me each next step to accomplishing those goals. Help me to exercise good time management, that I may make the best use of the time I have each day. Then help me to take advantage of the Sabbath You gave us; taking time to worship and rest in You to prepare for the next week.
Father God, I confess and repent of my pride. Create in me a steadfast spirit that won’t fall prey to enemy deception….telling me how well *I* did something, or how smart *I* am. It is only through Your power that I can do anything (Phil. 4:13). And when I am struggling, don’t let pride keep me from seeking out sound advice from trusted believers. Open my heart to what they say, weighing it against Your Word before making any decision.
And if there is anything in me that keeps me from experiencing the fullness of Your love for me, remove it now, Father. Break any enemy stronghold that could lead me into sin and devastate my family, or bring shame to Your Holy Name. You are my Redeemer, mighty and strong. Make my life a reflection of You.
I pray these things in Jesus’ Name….