Prayer: Our God in heaven, you who made us body and soul, we humbly bow before your majesty today to ascribe to you glory, strength, honor, and praise for your marvelous works displayed in the heavens day unto day. We praise you, for we are wonderfully and marvelously made. As your image bearers, we reflect our Maker and are called to honor him with our lives. Yet, we are prone to wander, often being deceived by the affairs of this world and that of our hearts. Your word makes it plain that we need to guard our hearts with all diligence because the issues of life flow from it. We confess to you, Father, that our hearts are desperately wicked, and are easily turned to things that are harmful, destructive, and, if not for your grace, lead to ruin and death. We further confess that we should be more diligent about protecting our hearts. Too often we subject them to things that will ruin us. Too often we fail to listen to the warnings of others you have placed in our path to guide and direct us. Too often, our God, we fail to seek advice and counsel from pastors and elders in matters of significance. We know that we do these things due to our selfish pride. We know it is because we are being wise in our own eyes instead of remembering the need to rest in the means you have given your people to guide and direct us. Sadly, Father, instead of guarding our hearts, we expose them to the influences of life and foolishly think we are different. Sadly, it usually ends in ruin. Yet, you are gracious and kind. You govern these things by the word of your power. You watch over your troubled and restless sheep with an ever-watching eye. You labor tirelessly for the good of your people and seek them out when they go astray. Please grant us willing hearts to heed the voices of those wiser than us. Please help us to guard our hearts from issues that will destroy us. Please do not abandon the work of your hands in our lives and keep us from temptation and sin all our days. These things we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Scripture Meditation: Prov. 4:23

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