Peola's Prayer Points
By Peola Hicks

Prayer Questions to Dispel Negative Thoughts

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is a catchy phrase, but I find it far from the truth.

Words can be just as dangerous as physical pain. They have the potential to form thought patterns, and those thoughts can plunge us forward toward our destiny or they can cause us to give up and stop moving forward. Words spoken by people in authority or those we respect can leave an indelible mark. 

I remember both positive and negative words that have been pointed in my direction. Positive words are always welcome. The key to how much damage negative words can inflict is whether or not I accept them and they take up residence, staying on my mind longer than they should. There must be some standard of measuring what to accept and what to reject. For me it is Philippians 4:8, “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

I like the use of the words “fix your thoughts.” This gives me the tool that I need whenever I am stuck on a thought that tries to bring my spirit down to a low place. Sometimes I can get beyond my current thoughts through prayer; other times, I have to be intentional about asking myself the question, “What are my thoughts fixed upon?” 

To answer my own question I use the guidelines in the scripture above to create a checklist for my thoughts:

  • Is it true?
  • Is it honorable?
  • Is it right or just?
  • Is it pure?
  • Is it lovely?
  • Is it admirable or a good report?
  • Is it excellent?
  • Is it worthy of praise?

When I have been preoccupied with statements that are not true, I don’t need to consider the remaining items on the checklist. The next thing for me is to replace the false statement that I have been focusing on with a statement of truth. This is a repetitive process and not a one-time solution.

If what I am fixed on is true, such as in hearing a bad report from a doctor or a bad report from a teacher, rather than letting it dominate my thoughts, I still refer to my checklist to see if there is anything beyond the truth that I can focus on. I am constantly looking for the good in every situation. The good may not be on the surface, but as I go deeper, I can find it. 

My prayer point today is to look for and intentional seek something good in every situation, and to watch over the words that we speak to others. Pray and ask God to help you. Words have power and can make or break someone’s day.

God bless you!

Are you in need of prayer?

Rev. Dr. Peola C. Hicks manages all prayer, volunteer and partner programs for OurPrayer. OurPrayer is a Christ centered ministry that receives and prays for over 750,000 requests on an annual basis through the web, phone and Facebook. Peola is an ordained minister and has a profile on Facebook as Peola’s Prayer Points.

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Your Comments (8)

Just wanted to share: You have no idea how much this post hit home for me. Someone said something to me the other day really stung. A friend said "Oh don't worry about it. We all know it's not true" But it kept popping into my head because it was so hurtful (talk about fixing thoughts in a bad way!)
When I read your explanation, I thought "Oh now I get it!" and began to feel better -for real. The Word can be so comforting when I really understand it.
I like how you pointed out that sometimes something may not feel good to hear but if it is true, it can be praiseworthy. As my sons approach another school year,I will keep it in mind: unpleasant words from a teacher may hurt at first but if they are true, they can help us improve ourselves.
Thank you for really explaining the Scripture in a way I can use for myself and as a mom trying to guide and comfort my children.
May God continue to bless your work.

I was in a whiplash accident 25 years ago. It did not cause a discernable problem until eight years ago, when I started having foot drop and trouble walking up stairs. Last year I fell three times. Tests show that the whiplash accident caused spinal cord damage in my neck. Now I use a walker and must raise my hip to get my foot up when I walk. This has caused severe arthritis in my hip. The pain and inflammation at night keeps me awake. Please pray for me.

Please just pray my last boyfriend, who I love and really do and always will, doesn't cut me out. Doesn't get a restrainging order and doesn't threaten to block my number. I'm so hurt and I love him. Please pray please I beg anyone...

Hi Nat: We are praying for you and I pray that God will heal all wounds and give you peace. In Jesus Name, Amen. Peola

Peola! Your breakdown of this scripture has got to please the Good Lord. Many thanks! Dorrie Blakney

Thanks Dorrie, I am glad that this article blessed your life. Thanks, Peola

Please continue to pray for peace and grace, wisdom, discernment, timing and God's will.
My out-of-state alcoholic sister's decisions also,and my (recently passed) Mom's few belongings. They are in my house and making me sick with mildew smell.
Physical infirmity and alone in a new town are challenging.
Praying God to also send new friends and to re-kindle a brave and faithful walk in a deeper way that accomplishes His will in each of us.
I count on God's power unleashed through prayer, and pray blessing back on you all in this ministry:)
God IS good... all the time! <3<3<3

Hello Sharian: Father God, we come before you to bless your name. I join with Sharian to pray for grace, wisdom, discernment, and timing of Your will. I pray also for healing from the devasting smell of mildew and a speedy decision as to what to do with the remaining items from her mother. I pray Lord that the smell does not take away from the precious memories. I pray for the lonliness that accompanies a move to a new place. Be with her and provide friends that will help her to walk more closely with you. We agree in prayer for these things and believe you for them. Comfort and give her strength. In Jesus Name, Amen.