Matthew 12:36-37 – I tell you, on the day of judgment people will have to give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned.
Lord Jesus, this word from you cuts me to the heart because it aims at my heart. The words that come out of my mouth are really coming out of my heart. And so those words are not just sounds and syllables, they are symptoms of a healthy or hurting heart. And it isn’t pretty. My words show a heart that is sick, sinful, and hurting. My words are often hurting because I am hurting. My words are often cold because I am hardened. These are the careless and worthless words that you’re talking about, words for which I will have to give an account. Forgive me, Lord Jesus. Forgive me for my careless, thoughtless, unloving, and hurting words that I speak. Forgive me for the way I lash out with a sharp tongue to hurt and harm and not to help or heal. Forgive me for the sinful thoughts I have that become words. Forgive me for the hurt I harbor in my heart toward others. Forgive me for my thoughts against others. Forgive me and create in me a clean heart, O God. Cleanse me of my sin and create in me a new heart that loves and longs to help and heal anyone and everyone. Teach me to hold my tongue when there is nothing kind, good, loving, or helpful to say. Teach me to use my words, instead, to build up and encourage, to rebuke and correct in a loving way, to console, to comfort, to help and to heal. Teach me to use my words in a way that brings you honor and glory so that everyone may know that I am your child. Put a guard over my mouth, O God, that I may only speak was is good, pleasing and right. Amen.