“In the same way, the Holy Spirit helps us when we are weak. We don’t know what we should pray for. But the Spirit himself prays for us. He prays with groans too deep for words.” – Romans 8:26 NIRV
“Your tongue has the power of life and death.” – Proverbs 18:21 NIRV
“In the same way, the tongue is a small part of the body. But it brags a lot. Think about how a small spark can set a big forest on fire. The tongue also is a fire. The tongue is the evilest part of the body. It pollutes the whole person. It sets a person’s whole way of life on fire. And the tongue is set on fire by hell…With our tongues, we praise our Lord and Father. With our tongues, we call down curses on people. We do it even though they have been created to be like God.” – James 3:5-6, 9 NIRV
“Don’t let any evil talk come out of your mouths. Say only what will help to build others up and meet their needs. Then what you say will help those who listen.” – Ephesians 4:29 NIRV
Recently, I was watching TV with my cousin and I heard this guy tell a woman who was speaking negatively about men to “not let the hurt speak for you.” When I heard it, it struck a chord in my own psyche and has resonated ever since. Because honestly, I have been guilty of similar in the past. Not the speaking negatively of men (I’ve never really done that as I know too many wonderful men), but allowing any type of hurt and disappointment to form the words that I speak to myself and to others. However, not only has it formed my words, hurt and disappointment have also influenced my prayers. Have they influenced your thoughts, words, and prayers too? If so, just as the man said, “Don’t let the hurt speak for you!”
Instead, learn to speak to your hurt. Speak to your disappointment. Speak to your failures. Speak to whatever feelings and emotions that set themselves in your mind as a stronghold. How can we do this? The Bible gives us numerous tools to do just that.
1. Recognize that in the moments of hurt, devastation, grief, or disappointment that it is ok to not be able to form words to pray.
Instead, understand that the Holy Spirit is perfectly capable and willing to intercede and speak on your behalf (Romans 8:26). Sometimes, it IS HARD to talk to the Father because of life experiences. Anyone that tells you otherwise has not encountered life. Yet, in spite of that, God desires our presence even when we cannot formulate our words. Over time, you will find that as you seek His presence, even as you are not able to pray for yourself, that healing will start to take place. The soothing, balm of being in His presence is more powerful than we realize.
2. Recognize the power in your words to shape your future.
We are reminded throughout the Bible that our words, the tongue, have power. They have the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21) and they can shape/pollute our persona (James 3:5-6). Not only can our words and our tongue speak life into a situation they can also bring about death. Our words set the stage for our hopes and dreams. By allowing hurt and other negative emotions to constantly be spoken, we are speaking those things into our very lives and creating self-fulfilling prophecies.
3. Recognize how hurtful talk not only impacts you, but others (Ephesians 4:29).
When hurt speaks for us, it becomes a representative of us. Hurting people, hurt people is a true statement. When you are operating in hurt, anger, bitterness, or even disappointment, it colors your interactions with others. You are no longer are you able to encourage or speak life into others.
Recognizing just how hurt can take root and be manifested in our tongue and words is the first step to not allowing it to do so. In other words, do not give hurt a platform in your mind nor on your tongue. Instead, take the time to heal from whatever you may be feeling by acknowledging the feelings and then moving from them.
May the words you speak be of hope, faith, and love – not only to others but to yourself as well.
Walk with Him,