Reading: Ecclesiastes 9-12; Psalm 10
Father, why do you seem so far away in times of trouble? It seems like you turn a blind eye to those who mock you and scorn your name. They are the ones who prosper instead of those who fear you. But you do know the works of our hands, and nothing escapes your sight. You hear the cries of those who love you, and you will execute justice, whether in this life or the one to come. Instead of worrying about things which are too great, I should be enjoying the life you have given me. Thank you for your provision for my family. Thank you for my wife whom I love and also like. Thank you for my children who teach me so much about you and bring so much joy to my life. Thank you for the work you have given me to do. When all is said and done, all that matters is that I fear you and obey your commands. Thank you for Jesus, who allows me to do that.
Reading: Ecclesiastes 5-8; Psalm 9
Father, I will remember all your wonderful blessings and how you’ve answered my prayers. You sit enthroned forever, executing justice with righteousness. You are a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know you put their trust in you, because you do not forsake those who search you out. There will come a day when there will be no more poor or needy because you will usher in justice once and for all. Money and riches will never satisfy. Let me rejoice in what you have given me, Lord, and let me learn to accept each day as a gift. That which you have set before me is better than that which I hope for. Though we mine your Word and the wisdom of this world, we can never understand why you do what you do. Your understanding is so far above ours that we cannot comprehend them.
Reading: Ecclesiastes 1-4; Psalm 8
Father, how majestic is your name in all the earth! Your glorious throne is above the heavens, far above all rule and authority on earth. When I consider the vastness of space it is hard to believe how much you care for your people, let alone just me. But you do. You made me and every other person your crowning achievement, then set us above all creation to rule it and and care for it. What a great mystery. That mystery stretches into throughout life as we seek to grasp that which can’t be grasped. We seek glory and honor, fame and riches, but none of these will last. We put our hope and identity in things we cannot take with us. O Lord, let me see that there is nothing better than to be joyful and enjoy the good gifts you have given me. Everything else in life will fade away except that which you have established. You have implanted eternity in the hearts of man. Let me strive after that eternal calling in Christ Jesus, pressing on to win the prize which you have stored up for me in the heavenly realms.
Reading: Proverbs 28-31; Psalm 7
Father, make known to me those sins I overlook. Let my eyes be open to them that I may repent. Judge me according to my righteousness, according to my integrity. I do not turn away from hearing your law, so I know you hear my prayers. Awaken your people to know the rights of the poor, that they may stand up for those who cannot stand for themselves. Please give Maggie and I wisdom for disciplining our children, so that peace is instilled in our home. God, thank you for revealing yourself in Jesus, the one who came down from heaven and ascended again. The one who gathers the wind in his fists. The one who wraps up the waters in a garment. The one who established all the ends of the earth. Every word of yours proves true. Let me never distort that truth. Father, do not make me poor or rich, but give me enough for my family to have what it needs daily. O Lord, an excellent wife is hard to find, yet somehow you have blessed me with her. Thank you for Maggie, a blessing I truly don’t deserve. She deserves praise for many things, all of which you know. But I will praise for this above all else – that she fears and loves you, Lord.
Reading: Proverbs 25-27; Psalm 6
Father, please do not discipline me in your anger, but show me mercy and be gracious to me. Send the thoughts that accuse and the attacks of the evil one far away, for you have power and dominion over all. O Lord, help me to love my enemies, for this has been your heart from the beginning. There is no reward for loving those who love me, but you reward those who love their enemies. Open my eyes to any way I seek my own glory that I may turn and seeks yours instead. Make me into a man of self-control, lest I be vulnerable to attack. Only you are wise, Father, and I am a fool for those times I think I am. I will not boast about tomorrow since I don’t know what it brings, but I will be glad and rejoice in this, the day that you have made. Let me not hide my love from those for whom I have it. Continue to use me as iron to sharpen other iron. Keep a close eye on my heart, God. Search it often, for it reflects who I truly am.