Prayers

What Loving Your Neighbor Looks Like in the Book of Proverbs

5 Mins read

“Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee. Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee” (KJV, Prov. 3:27-29).

“Withhold not good from them to whom it is due”

Father, I thank You that You have not withheld good from me, even though I did not deserve it. I see that You are a God of grace, mercy, and love. I thank You for the work of Christ this day. I thank You for the many blessings that I have received through the cross of Jesus and His atoning work.

I cannot fathom the love that You bestow upon me each day. I have only earned condemnation through the life that I have lived, but You have richly supplied me with all my needs – and so much more. I thank You that as I look to Your Word, I receive instruction on how to honor You and live for You in this life. I thank You for Your desire to guide me along the right path and to set my feet on solid ground.

I see that in Your Word, You tell me that I must not withhold good from those to whom it is due. You have given me so much in my undeserved state. How could I ever withhold good from others when it is their due? Teach me to honor You in this way. Teach me to live for You in all that I do.

I am reminded of another verse in Your Word when I read Proverbs 3:27-29. Paul has said, “Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth hath fulfilled the law” (Rom. 13:8). In this verse, You have given me instruction concerning my need to love. You tell me that I am indebted to love. Please incline my heart toward You; please enlarge my heart, Lord, that I might run in Your commandments.

I also pray that You would show me what it means when You speak of good. The world has its own views on what constitutes goodness, and I see the way that the world is running contrary to Your ways. I also see the way in which, down through history, the church can be influenced by the culture and misinterpret Scripture as a result. Keep my eyes fixed on Your commandments, keep my eyes fixed on Your law, keep my eyes fixed on Christ, and show me how to live in this world without being influenced by it.

“When it is in the power of thine hand to do it”

You have given me many blessings, Lord, and it is hard to see how I should use them. Yet again, I fear that I may be influenced by the culture, but it is hard to know. I see that Your Word tells me to give, and I also see that You Word tells me to save. I fear that I do not have the proper balance in this area and that I might tend toward selfishness. I find that I can locate Scriptures to justify my selfishness, and I pray that You would rid me of this tendency. Please, Lord, may I never use Your Word to promote my own selfish agenda.

You have told me that I must be a giver. God, You are a Giver, and You gave the greatest blessing the world could ever know. When I was dead in my trespasses and sins, You made me alive with Christ. You seated me in the heavenly places in Christ, and Your glorious work is not yet done. The reality is that I have only tasted what is to come, and my finite mind cannot even comprehend what is in store.

Why do I find myself desiring to withhold good when it is in my power to do it? My heart needs to be cleansed; it needs to be purified; it needs to be sanctified. Work in my heart this day, and make me like Yourself.

Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee”

Please, Lord, may I not delay in my giving. I see in this verse the tendency toward procrastination. I also see this tendency in my own life when it comes to blessing others. James has something to say on the matter when he speaks of the person who is without the basic necessities of life. He says, “And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; not withstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit” (James 2:16). Father, I thank You that You have provided for me. You have given me all of my needs, and I pray that You would help me to see how I can be a conduit of blessing to others. Use me, Lord! Make me a vessel for honorable use.

I see that in Your Word, You tell me that I am an ambassador for Christ and that You make Your appeal through me. Therefore, You desire to use me in this world to further Your kingdom. I also see that Your Word tells me that You will provide for Your children. However, what is also true is that You use Your people for this task. Teach me, Lord, to contribute to Your cause.

I remember the story about Peter and John after Christ rose from the dead. These two men desired to go to the temple to pray. When they went, they encountered a crippled man who was begging for money. When Your servants approached the man, Peter told the crippled man that he did not have money to give. Nevertheless, Peter told the man to rise and walk, and the man’s faith made him well.

When I find that I do not have financial resources to give, I am still equipped with the greatest gift. I can give others the hope of salvation and show them the way to eternal life through Christ. Please help me to never forget that I always have something that I can give. Money is just one of the many ways that I can give. You have shown me through Christ that I can give myself, my time, my money, Your Word, encouragement, comfort, and more.

“Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee”

I thank You, Lord, that You do not desire for evil to befall me. While the enemy desires for evil to consume me, I can know that whatever the enemy means for evil, God means it for good. I can know that even when it appears that evil is all around me, You, Lord, are working all things for my good. I can know that in the midst of suffering, pain, and trial, there is a way in which You are working. Your Word tells me that You are perfecting my faith in the midst of trial. Your Word tells me that in the midst of suffering, this suffering is producing perseverance, character, and hope.

I pray that You would make me like Yourself. Make me a lover of good and not evil. Make me a lover of holiness and not wickedness. I pray that You would make me a beacon of light in a dark world. I pray that You would make me salt in this world. I pray that Christ would be evident in my life and that all that I do would be to the glory of God.

Your Word tells me that it is the peacemaker who is blessed. Your Word also tells me that as long as I am able, I must seek to be at peace with those around me. I pray that You would work this into my heart and make me like Yourself. I pray that Your name would be hallowed throughout the earth and in my life. You and You alone are God and are worthy of my devotion, praise, and adoration. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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