Tuesday May 8 2018

PULSE 8/5/18 – How to Pray About Our Words

God expects us to tremble at his words, and to tremble over ours.

We Christians ought to be the most careful speakers in the world. We are to heed God’s words ourselves and communicate them to others with care, and we are to speak our words carefully since we will “give an account [to God] for every careless word [we] speak” (Matthew 12:36).

This whole talking business is a very serious business. It’s life-and-death serious: “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21).

1. Pray for the Words the You Speak

Lord, I fear I do not fear words enough. Forgive me for trembling too little over your holy words and too little over my unholy words. Lord, teach me to be quicker to hear and slower to speak, especially when I’m tempted to speak in anger (James 1:19). For if I do not bridle my tongue, my “religion is worthless” (James 1:26).

Lord, teach me to use more restraint in all aspects of my speech, for “when words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent” (Proverbs 10:19). And, “whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble” (Proverbs 21:23).

2. Guard my mouth from speaking death. 

Lord, I believe “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21), and I do not want to speak death of any kind to anyone. So “set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” (Psalm 141:3).

Lord, help me put away “all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander [and] malice” so they will not pour out of me in words. Rather, help me be and speak what is “kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving” of others, just as you in Christ forgave me (Ephesians 4:31–32).

3. Release my mouth to speak life.

Lord, I believe that “a gentle tongue is a tree of life” (Proverbs 15:4) and that “the mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life” (Proverbs 10:11). Whatever it takes, “let the words of my mouth . . . be acceptable in your sight” (Psalm 19:14) and a source of nourishment and refreshment to your people.

Lord, show me how to “let [my] speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that [I] may know how [I] ought to answer each person” (Colossians 4:6).

Lord, help me to use my words to encourage others and build them up far more than critiquing or criticizing them (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

4. Give me wisdom and humility.

Lord, when I don’t know what I should say, help me be humble enough to admit it, to listen carefully (James 1:19) and to wisely “ponder how to answer” (Proverbs 15:28) so that I do not foolishly “pour out folly” (Proverbs 15:2).

Lord, when others bring a rebuke to me, deliver me from my defensive pride and help me listen carefully and humbly, since often “it is a kindness” and “oil for my head” (Psalm 141:5). “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy” (Proverbs 27:6).

Jon Bloom