Words are powerful. God used them to speak a world into existence. We use them to teach and learn and express our thoughts. We can also use them to build up or to destroy and deceive. They are powerful enough to effect another life, even one’s own. The words I tell myself and either give me comfort and courage, or leave me feeling hopeless and doomed.
When I read the words of these psalms, I think of how precious words are. That I can use them to offer up prayers to God or to worship him. And God hears them.
Hear my cry, O God;
listen to my prayer.
2 From the ends of the earth I call to you,
I call as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
3 For you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the foe.
4 I long to dwell in your tent forever
and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
5 For you, God, have heard my vows;
you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name. (Psalm 61:1-5, NIV, emphasis mine)
What do my own words reveal about me when I’m angry or scared? What do I say to myself?
Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him.
6 Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
7 My salvation and my honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
8 Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge. (Psalm 62:5-8, NIV)
All that I can really give God are the words of my heart.
Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
6 On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
7 Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
8 I cling to you;
your right hand upholds me. (Psalm 63:3-8, NIV)
The power of words.
Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked,
from the plots of evildoers.
3 They sharpen their tongues like swords
and aim cruel words like deadly arrows.
4 They shoot from ambush at the innocent;
they shoot suddenly, without fear.
5 They encourage each other in evil plans,
they talk about hiding their snares;
they say, “Who will see it?”
6 They plot injustice and say,
“We have devised a perfect plan!”
Surely the human mind and heart are cunning.
7 But God will shoot them with his arrows;
they will suddenly be struck down.
8 He will turn their own tongues against them
and bring them to ruin;
all who see them will shake their heads in scorn.
9 All people will fear;
they will proclaim the works of God
and ponder what he has done. (Psalm 64:2-9, NIV, emphasis mine)
Lord, help me to be mindful and intentional with my words. If they are all I can give to you, and if they have the power to influence another, even to stay stored in a memory to be recalled (as a blessing or a curse), help me to guard my heart and use my words for good.