Prayer, Plain and Simple

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. (Matt. 12:36)


This one Scripture needs some attention. We have read it countless times, but do we take it to heart? Did Jesus mean it? Or was He speaking idle words? Those of us who have read and re-read the Word can let familiarity enter, breeding contempt, that is, a head that nods without a heart that bows.

I have lived most of my Christian life speaking everything that comes to mind: complaining at will, criticizing at will, freaking out at will, even mocking at will. Not exclusively, mind you, but, apart from repentance, enough to merit some severe judgement from God at the end of time.

If I’m going to put some skin in the game of my Christian existence, I need to take seriously what Jesus says. It’s not how much I know, it’s whether or not I obey what I know to be true. My life is not my own, my voice is not my own, my words are not my own to express.

Jesus Himself said that He ONLY said what He heard the Father say. He never spouted out at the mouth. Ever! Never once did He complain. Never once did He speak out of turn. Never once did He talk too much or too little. Never once did He speak out of turn… Why? Because He didn’t make it about Him. He made it all about His Father.

We are called to be like Jesus. Do you want to grow in your capacity for living like Jesus? Take His Word to heart, and pray this plain and simple prayer.

My Father,

I apologize for speaking anything and everything that comes to mind. I have lived most of my life without a filter on my mouth. This has wrought havoc in the world. I have undone what should not have been undone. I have cursed where blessing was called for. I have screwed up things that needed straightening.

Please forgive me.

Please cleanse me and transform me. I want to speak only what is helpful for building up others and myself. I desire to have a mouth that is ruled by Your Words.

I say, “Enough!” to idle, barren words. I say, “Enough!” to unproductive words. I say, “Enough!” to self-centered words! I say, “Enough is enough!” of me, myself, and I. I need to shrink to size and let You grow BIG in me and in my words!

This is my solemn promise to You: I will speak life, not death. This is my goal. Please stand guard over the door of my lips. Today and always.

I love You!



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