A Prayer for Using Our Words to Heal, Not Harm

The following post originally appeared on Scotty Smith's Heavenward blog hosted on The Gospel Coalition

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly. (Prov. 15:1-2) A healing tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. (Prov. 15:4)

Dear Lord Jesus, as with all the Scriptures, ultimately, these verses make me think of you. There’s no one more filled with kindness and gentle answers than you; no one with a wiser, loving, healing tongue than yours. You ever live to use your words to pray for us, bless us, and sing to us of your great delight in us, and irrepressible affection for us. Hallelujah, many times over.

prayerEven when I rush into your presence with demands dressed up like questions, arrogance pretending to be confusion, or clenched fists rather than raised hands, you remain unnerved, non-defensive, and ever so welcoming.

You’re firm with us but never harsh with us. You don’t have to be, because, unlike me, you never get irritated, you don’t have any insecurities, and you don’t fear losing an argument. Jesus, you’re not into “saving face” but saving me.

When I ignore your “wooing’s,” or act immature in response to your warnings, I simply reveal how little of the gospel I really understand. For there’s nothing about you that justifies any other response in me than humility, gratitude, and submission.

My words (and thoughts), alone, are a daily reminder to me of how much I need the gospel, to always be at work in my life. If I had to atone for all the ways I’ve misused my tongue; if I had to finance redemption to pay for the poor stewardship of my words; or if I thought I had to gentle my own heart in order to have a relationship with God—I would surely despair.

Jesus, as this day begins and continues, please fill my heart with your grace and free my tongue for your praise. May I bless and not curse; may I worship more than I whine; and may I bring more of a healing presence than a harming effect into each of my relationships. So very Amen I pray, in your ever-so-glorious and loving name.

Heavenward by Scotty Smith
The Gospel Coalition