Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.
- Max Lucado
I got angry at someone today. It was a justifiable anger; the person hadn’t considered the needs of others and was only thinking of himself.
I was unhappy with him, but later I was unhappy with myself. You see, there’s a slippery slope between righteous and self-righteous anger, and in the heat of the moment I said more than necessary. This isn’t unusual: No matter how hard I try to restrain myself, it’s often apparent (after the fact) that I should have silenced my tongue a few sentences sooner. Today, in the process of ensuring that the other person knew he had trespassed, I trespassed against him.
The way around this is a path that I forgot to take this morning. A quick talk with the Holy Spirit before I open my mouth usually helps me arrive at a better place. When I pray, Let me say only what you want me to say, more often than not there's nothing I need to confess later. Let me say only what you want me to say helps me focus on being a servant. It reminds me that few words are often better than many. Most of all, it helps me place God’s will before my impulses... which is where I want it to be.
Julia Attaway is a freelance writer, homeschooler and mother of five. She is the editor of Daily Guideposts: Your First Year of Motherhood, a book of devotions for first-time moms. She lives in New York.