“O LORD, I call upon you; hasten to me!
Give ear to my voice when I call to You!
Let my prayer be counted as incense before You,
and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!
Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth;
keep watch over the door of my lips!”
Today, along with the Psalmist, we lift up our own prayer to You. We ask as he did that You would give your attentive ear to our voice. We also imagine with him that our simple prayer, rising like the incense from the altar in the ancient tabernacle of David, reach your very throne room. We want this prayer to be pleasing in your presence as we lift up our hands in surrender, honoring the sacrifice of Jesus who opened the way so that our prayers could rest before You. We need your divine help with our moths. We need Heavenly speech therapy today.
“Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!”, he asked. I am impacted today to see that the heart of David was not so fully yours that he could presume that he did not need your help to regulate his patterns of speech. Even as David wrote this inspired Psalm, he was praying for You to assist him. He feared that he might write holy stanzas in a song to You, but then leave that place and allow words to come from his mouth that might fail to honor You. David knew the dangers of communicating things that were beneath the dignity of one who is your child. David feared that his vocabulary, his tone, or that invisible spiritual cord that connected his tongue to his heart might become tainted with sin.
So he asked You to guard his mouth and act as a sentry standing watch before his lips.
Today, Father, motivated by David’s ancient request, we ask three things from You so that we might also communicate as one who is consecrated to You, sanctified by the Holy Spirit and submissive in our dependence upon You to keep us from speaking as the foolish ones:
- Please do not let us say less than we should. Let us represent your heart with our communication. Help us to be proactive witnesses of your words, your works and your ways. We are tempted to remain silent while the culture roars its own values. Our Kingdom voices have grown faint. Let that guard before our lips usher forth words that unashamedly speak of You to a world that is dead to You. Help us to not say less than we should.
- Please do not let us say more than we should. Oh, God, help me here today! I have so much that I want to say and have often spoken without your wise guidance. Some of your children have dismissed the guard whom you have appointed to regulate our words. We have sometimes quenched the Spirit when He warned us to hold our tongues. We have sliced others with our words. We have criticized without love. We have accused in anger. We have railed against authorities whom You sovereignly appointed. We have dripped out sarcasm and filled our mouths with snark. We have complained and spoken death over that which was merely bruised or struggling. We have said more than we should because we felt bold when we had the facts on our side. In this, we have failed to be like Jesus who refused to revile when He was reviled. Father, help us today to exercise our right to remain silent. Help us to tuck in our words. Help us show great strength via purposed silence. Empower us not to say more than we should.
- Please do not let us say other than we should. We so need Holy Spirit to help us remain aware of what we tend to talk about. Our culture is inflamed with ceaseless rhetoric concerning things which are carnal, temporal and unworthy of our conversations. We tend to become passionate about things that are altogether other than what is on your holy heart. We have lost our awareness of what is important to you and have wasted our words on lesser loyalties. The topic of politics seeks to take the reins of our mouths and command Kingdom-conversations to go and sit muted in the back of the carriage. Help us to speak of eternal matters today. Give us a leaning towards conversations that rest upon the unfading glories that proceed from You. We speak too frequently of things that simply do not matter much. We fixate on that which is fading and bellow out our proud words. Set a guard before our lips so that we do not give our mouths to those these other, lesser, things. They are everywhere every day and beg for our opinions. We so need your help.
So, again, Father,
“Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth;
keep watch over the door of my lips!”
I know that I need You for this.