Set a guard over my mouth, Lord;Psalm 141:3 NIV
keep watch over the door of my lips.
The psalmist’s prayer here is applicable to all of us. We are not always very careful of the words that come out of our mouths. Or the words we post in a text message or email, on Facebook, or other social media platforms. How often do we wish we could retrieve our words and undo the damage they have caused? Damage to others. Damage to ourselves and our reputation. And damage to our witness for the Lord.
How much better to guard our speech and prevent those damaging words in the first place? To practice the expression “engage brain before putting mouth in gear.” To think about our words before they come out of our mouths. Are those words going to be something I will regret? Are they helpful to those who are listening to me (Eph. 4:29)?
The psalmist prayed for God’s help in controlling his speech. He could not do it alone. Likewise, I need help controlling what I say. I am not much of a talker. But even still, all too often, I find that I have responded to someone else in a way that I later regret, wishing I had spent a bit more time in prayer and thought before my hasty response.
“Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.” “May the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight oh Lord” (Ps. 19:14).