Every Word a Prayer
Rejoice at all times. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
~ 1 Thess. 5:16-18
I don't know if the phrase “make every word from my mouth a prayer” is something I wrote or something I picked up from somewhere else — and even if I thought it up, no doubt a thousand other people said it before me! — but the meaning didn't really hit me until I put it into the prayers today.
What if I never said anything that was not a prayer to God? Well, right off the bat, anything along the lines of “screw you” would be gone! And saying that immediately brings to mind something Christ said in the Sermon on the Mount: to paraphrase, “anyone who says ‘you fool’ to his brother is liable for hell.”
But that's only the beginning of it. I wouldn't be able to lie. Period. I wouldn't be able to get in angry arguments with my wife over stupid little things. On the other hand, I might offend some people. This is going to take some thought, but I might give it a try.
I have been studying the Epistle of James a lot, recently, and it is a very powerful and very hard-edged book, especially considering how short it is. But the entire concept of making everything one says a prayer really would be an effective way to put James into action. There is a long passage, James 3:2-12, where he discusses how powerful and dangerous is the human tongue. And we had a passage in Matthew 15 recently where James' famous half-brother taught that we can be defiled by what comes out of our mouth.
Food for thought.
Lord, guide my tongue in all I speak. Amen.
~ Mason Barge
Editor, Daily Prayer