With the tongue, you can uplift or curse, bless or condemn, praise or disgrace. It is important to keep it under control. Words once spoken, cannot be taken back.
Lord, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of [my] mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29, NIV). Lord, I don’t want my children to detect a critical spirit in me, or jealousy, or even a lack of faith or discontent. So, guard my mouth so I don’t talk critically of anyone. And when it comes to how I address – and correct – my children, help me to build them up rather than tear them down. When they make mistakes or fail miserably, help me to discern when they need love, grace, and forgiveness instead of a lecture on what they should’ve done differently.
Lord, I know my tongue often gets ahead of my mind and heart. I am quick to speak and I repent of the many thoughtless things I have spoken. I am sorry for words I have spoken in anger or in gossip. Please help me to see when I am about to speak without thinking and to check my heart. Help me be slow to speak. Help me Lord to be a person full of loving words, full of your Spirit, overflowing with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self control. Amen.
You created the universe when You spoke it into existence with the words of Your own mouth. Your words are almighty and powerful. And now You say there is power in the words that I speak for I am created in Your image. Help me to be careful and responsible with my mouth, to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.
You tell me in Your Word that blessing and cursing come from the same mouth—that even a fountain does not spout fresh water and bitter water from the same spout. And, yet, with my tongue I bless you, Lord, and with it I curse men who are made in Your likeness. Forgive me, Lord, for my untamed tongue that is so often full of poison. Change my heart, Oh Lord, for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.
Help me, Lord, for You have said that life and death are in the power of the tongue. Forgive me for being critical, judgmental, sarcastic, rude or unkind with my words. Help me to speak life and encouragement to those around me. Help me to walk in love always offering words of kindness, love, and grace so that I do not grieve the Holy Spirit. Help me to be wise and use my tongue to speak healing words because a gentle tongue is like a tree of life, and I don’t want to crush other people’s spirits.
Put a watch guard over my mouth and keep me from trouble. Teach me to know when to speak and when to be still or pray. And when I speak, help me to speak the truth in love. I don’t want my service to You to be worthless because I cannot bridle my tongue. I want to mature and keep my lips from evil. I trust you Lord, to cause me to desire and to do Your will and to cause my thoughts to become agreeable to Your will. I thank you for Your grace for me, Lord, and I give You all the glory for the changes You bring in my life by Your Holy Spirit.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Pray for Grace to Govern your Tongue
We must pray for grace to enable us both to govern our tongues well and to use them well.
Lord, enable us to guard our ways, that we may not sin with our tongue, and to guard our mouth, as if with a muzzle, Psalm 39:1(ESV)that it may not be hasty to utter a word. Ecclesiastes 5:2(ESV)
Set a guard, O LORD, over our mouth; keep watch over the door of our lips, Psalm 141:3(ESV) that we may not stumble in what we say. James 3:2(ESV)
Let our speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, Colossians 4:6(ESV)and enable us always, out of the good treasure of our heart, to bring forth good. Matthew 12:35(KJV) Let our mouth utter wisdom, and our tongue speak justice; Psalm 37:30(ESV) and let not your words depart out of our mouth, or out of the mouth of our offspring, or our children’s offspring, from this time forth and forevermore. Isaiah 59:21(ESV)
Enable us always to open our mouth with wisdom, and let the teaching of kindness be on our tongue. Proverbs 31:26(ESV) Give us to know what is acceptable, Proverbs 10:32(ESV) that our tongue may be as choice silver, and our lips may feed many. Proverbs 10:20-21(ESV)
There’s so much in your Word about how it’s important to watch my mouth. “The mouth speaks what the heart is full of,” (Luke 6:45) “no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison,” (James 3), and “It’s what comes out of a person’s mouth that makes them unclean,” (Matthew 15:11) are just a few.
I can’t tame my tongue on my own, Lord. I need your Spirit’s help. Thank you for the self control that you’ve instilled in me. Help me to choose control. Help me to swallow my pride and forgo the last work or that hurtful, needling insult. Kill passive aggressive language while it’s still in my brain before it ever reaches my mouth.
Protect my mouth from agreeing with the enemy’s lies. Make me painfully aware of the profound meaning and power of every word that comes out of my mouth. If I speak life-giving words, help me to see the fruit that comes about as a result. Likewise, teach me to see the ramifications of words of death. When I sin and say things that help the enemy’s plan to kill and destroy, give me the awareness and courage to break that agreement and make amends. Make my words the words of a peacemaker, Holy Spirit!
You gave me a mouth for a reason. Like a father entrusting his son with his tools, you gave us mouths because you have work to do and you know that we can do good things with these powerful mouths if we surrender our hearts to you. I want my mouth to honor you, Jesus.
Prayer to control the tongue
Jehovah Jireh, You are the most high God who supplies all my needs.
I can rest assured, knowing that anything I ask for will be given unto me, as long as I am faithful to You and it is in agreement with Your will for my life.
For I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread.
Proverbs 21:23 Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.
Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
For life and death are in the power of the tongue.
Grant me peace in my heart, Oh Jehovah Shalom. Grant me peace in my mind.
May my words only uplift those around me, instead of cause harm. Let my lips be used to give sweet, joyful praises unto Your name.
Oh Jehovah Mekoddishkem, let words of criticism, negativity, corruption, pride, arrogance, gossip, bitterness, resentment, hate and spitefulness never leave my lips. For life and death are in the power of the tongue.
Psalm 141:3 Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!
1 Peter 3:10 For Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.
Break that Chain of Negativity
Jehovah Shammah, let no evil befall me as I live my life serving You. Let any negativity spoken against me be destroyed in Jesus name, for I am covered and protected under the precious blood of the King.
Break that chain of negativity, Oh Lord my God. Allow me to not only speak words of wisdom, upliftment, healing and love towards others, but also, let my actions follow through. In Jesus’ mighty name I pray, Amen and Amen!
To Control the Tongue
Father, I commit to turn from idle words and foolishly talking things that are contrary to my true desire for myself and toward others. Your Word says that the tongue defiles, that it sets on fire the course of nature, that it is set on fire of hell.
In the name of Jesus, I am determined to take control of my tongue.
I am determined that hell will not set my tongue on fire. I renounce, reject and repent of every word that has ever proceeded out of my mouth against You, Lord, and Your operation. I cancel its power and dedicate my mouth to speak excellent things and right things. My mouth shall utter truth.
Father, I attend to Your words; I consent and submit to Your sayings. I will not let them depart from my sight; I keep them in the center of my heart, for they are life to me and to those to whom I speak—healing and health to all our flesh. I keep and guard my heart with all vigilance and above all that I guard, for out of it flow the springs of life. I put away from me false and dishonest speech, and willful and contrary talk I put far from me. My eyes look right on [with fixed purpose], and my gaze is straight before me. I guard my mouth and my heart with all diligence. I refuse to give Satan any place in me.
Father, Your words are top priority to me. They are spirit and life. I let Your Word dwell in me richly in all wisdom. Your ability is released within me by the words of my mouth; therefore, I speak forth Your words. They are alive and working in me because You are alive and working in me. So I can boldly say that my words are words of faith, words of power, words of love and words of life. They produce good things in my life and in the lives of others. Because I choose Your words for my lips, I choose Your will for my life, and I go forth in the power of those words to perform them in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— © 2014 Word Ministries, Inc.
A Prayer for a Wise, Healing Tongue
Gracious Jesus, we love words. We especially love the way you use words to bring us healing, freedom, and hope. You never shame us or defame us with words. You never manipulate or flatter us with words. You never repeat our failures to others; you only bring our sin and brokenness to the your throne of grace, where they are buried in the sea of your redeeming love.
You never say too much or too little. You neither mince, dice nor waste words. Lord Jesus, you alone have the words of eternal life, and you constantly speak them to our hearts. How grateful we are; how dependent we are on the constancy of your grace-salted words.
Our prayer is simple yet ever so necessary and daily: grant us a greater gospel-stewardship of our words. As you speak to us, please speak through us, Lord Jesus. We are painfully aware that our words can bring great harm and death (Prov. 18:21). Indeed, if we’re not careful, our words can pillage the soft tissues of the heart like gangrene (Eph. 4:29). Forgive us, Lord Jesus, even as recent conversations come to mind in which we have brought unnecessary harm.
You tell us that our words are a sure reflection of what’s filling our heart: “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). So no mere promise to avoid gossip, idle chatter, reckless words, or coarse jesting will be enough. We must constantly be preaching the gospel to ourselves, filling our hearts with your beauty and bounty, Lord Jesus.
May the overflow of your grace in our hearts be obvious to all, as we seek to build others up, not tear them down. Even when we have to have difficult conversations, may the truth, grace and power of the gospel be evident. We want our tongues to be a scalpel for healing, Jesus, not a hammer for harm. We humbly pray in your merciful and mighty name. Amen.