“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
While watching TV with my cousin, 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 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 hurt and disappointment to form the words that I speak to myself and others. However, not only has it shaped my words, hurt and disappointment have also influenced my prayers. Have they influenced your thoughts, speech, 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, disappointment, failures, and whatever 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.
- 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, despite 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 recognize.
- 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). They can shape/pollute our persona (James 3:5-6). Not only can words and our tongue speak life into a situation they can also bring about death. Our speech sets the stage for our hopes and dreams. By constantly speaking hurts and other negative emotions, we prophesy those things into our very lives.
- Recognize how hurtful talk impacts not only 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 we walk in hurt, anger, bitterness, or disappointment, it colors our interactions with others. No longer are you able to encourage or speak life into others either.
First, we must realize how hurt can take root and manifest itself in our speech. 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.
Friends, may your words be full of hope, faith, and love – not only to others but to yourself as well.
Walk with Him,