Last Sunday, I gave a talk at imagine/Northampton called "Our Words Leave Marks On Others." The main idea centered on the power of the tongue to speak life or death to other people. It can crush or liberate them using mere words. But as a counselor, much of my work has to do with people striving to help folks heal from those rascals. It is no small task for many. A word has the power to alter the trajectory of an entire life. Throwing them around like so much confetti is a fool's errand to say the least.
Of late, I've been composing Opening and Closing Prayers we say together in our worship. The prayers reflect the theme of the day helping us enter in and leave Sunday worship under the umbrella of a commonly- held idea. So I thought I'd share it with you in the hope you could use it to be more mindful of what you say.
Father of lights,
Fill my words this week with grace and truth, wisdom and gentleness.
Set a guard, Oh Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.
Set a guard over my heart that I might not be careless, rash or irresponsible in anything I say.
Let my words give life and liberty, not wounding or discouraging.
Let me hear clearly others words, and speak rightly such that nothing I say deceives, discourages or diminishes anyone.
Visit my thoughts with your Word that I might honor you in every conversation I have.
Make it so.