I find myself lingering over Psalm 141:3-4. What a beautiful psalm to pray back to the Lord! What I notice is David’s seemingly simple prayer request that actually changes everything about the day and our whole lives if we consider it deeply. He asks God for this:
Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil, to take part in wicked deeds. . .
Essentially, it’s this: Help me speak the right words. Help me want godly things.
Can you imagine a day in which everything you spoke was the right thing? A day when your words didn’t cause harm or confusion? When you didn’t speak in anger? When you didn’t gossip or lead others into any kind of wrong thinking? Imagine living a day where your words brought life and healing and joy. Imagine a day where you were more silent before the Lord than you have ever been. I think David knew his weaknesses here; he asks God to guard his words and keep watch over his mouth.
But what’s next? He prays to want the right things in life. What a marvelous, powerful prayer indeed. I pray this for my daughters, my students, and my husband. I pray this for myself. I pray that ungodly things suddenly seem boring and harmful and even disgusting. I pray instead that we are drawn to beautiful, godly activities, behaviors, and thoughts. Help us want this, Lord.
Help me speak the right words. Help me want godly things.