Prayer 556 - Week 4, Thursday
Thursday - What kind of water?
Read these words with an open and honest heart:
James 3: 9-12
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.
Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?
My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs?
Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
In my communication classes we used to say "Words create worlds." James is telling us we have a choice in the way we speak, we can choose what kind of world we create with our words.
Do you think you sometimes lose awareness of how powerful your words can be?
What kinds of worlds are you creating with the words you use to speak (about yourself, within your house, on social media, about others...)?
James is talking about words specifically, but are there other areas where there is still some inconsistency in your spiritual walk (places where the salt and fresh water are both trying to flow out)?
Take a few minutes to tell God where you want to see growth in this area.
Ask the Holy Spirit to go with you and empower you as you work toward that consistent life.
Spend a few minutes reflecting on the situations, people, or places that bring out this inconsistency. Ask God to show you how you might invite him into those places and help you speak life giving words.
This morning, before you go into your day, submit your heart, your mind, your words, and your actions to God!
Lord God Almighty,
shaper and ruler of all creatures,
we pray for your great mercy,
that you guide us towards you,
for we cannot find our way.
And guide us to your will, to the need of our soul,
for we cannot do it ourselves.
And make our mind steadfast in your will
and aware of our soul’s need.
Strengthen us against the temptations of evil,
and remove from us all lust and every unrighteousness,
and shield us against our foes, seen and unseen.
Teach us to do your will,
that we may inwardly love you before all things with a pure mind.
For you are our maker and our redeemer,
our help, our comfort, our trust, our hope;
praise and glory be to you now and forever.
- Alfred the Great, 9th century
Holy Spirit, please guide me as I reflect and words begin to flow today . I submit my tongue to You knowing that “words create worlds”. The gift of tongues comes into my mind. I remember the night I received this gift. I was a senior in college attending a prayer group. I felt since incredible peace and joy as unknown words of praise began to flow. The Holy Spirit gave me words of praise. As I reflect, I want all my words to be submitted to God. Let the “spring” of my heart be submitted to The Holy Spirit. I want to speak words of encouragement-words that are helpful. James speaks a lot about the tongue-such a small part of the body, but such great power!
When I think of inconsistencies I think of Peter when he denies the Lord three times before the cock Crowes twice. He had just told the Lord at the last supper that he was willing to die with him, that he would never deny him. I find the inconsistency in my life is in my self talk. So many times I find myself chastising myself for things I have done or said. I don’t mean to do this, but it just seems to bubble up without me thinking of it. It’s usually that my mouth is engaged before my brain is engaged. The other time that I find this happens is when I am on the computer and something goes wrong. I find myself spewing words that I don’t usually say, nor do I want to say. Many times I have referred to this portion of scripture when this happens. How can I praise you oh lord when I allow such language and sentiments escape from my mouth at the same time? Lord help me to gain control of my tongue.
Anger and frustration sometimes gets the best of me leading to foul language .I suspect we all are prone to this.
Oh the tongue...such a deadly weapon. It's more my attitude that goes along with the tongue that gets me in trouble with my Lord. I work on both of these all the time. Sometimes practicing what I want to say....kindly, especially when I'm frustrated. I pray Lord for the right attitude so the words of my mouth will be pleasing to You.
It's funny how we look at different forms of communication as being truly different, when in reality they're not at all. Social media is especially interesting because many of us say things we don't have the courage to say in person--at least to people we hardly know! I sometimes used to tell our youth girls to be more careful what they post-- to "manage their image"-- and was just as often taking to myself. But now I wonder-- wouldn't it be much better for me to "manage my spirit" by turning my inner life, thought life, over to the Holy Spirit? Because really if the only thing you regret about posting something ugly or critical is that you posted it, not that this is how ugly your daily thoughts are but that you let people see what's really inside, in public, in a place where there's a record of you doing it-- that's a problem.
So for me, when I feel irritated or offended at something, on socials or in my real life at home, I need to pause and pray, asking God why this bothers me, is it any of my business, is my voice needed, and is it going to make a difference in five years. That should cover most of what sucks the joy from me and brings up salty water.
Lord, help me to spring forth with word of praise and a heart filled with commitment to carry on with glory and honor for you. Give me strength to take the next steps to accomplish my tasks and turn my uplifting words into a beautiful world filled with peace, love, and joy for Julia and all those who me I encounter.