A few days ago, I stumbled upon the #PrayerDare hashtag on Twitter, and after looking into it quickly, I realized that God really wanted me to see that post. Prayer Dare is a challenge started by Amanda, who runs the blog “A Royal Daughter” with the hopes of encouraging women in their prayer lives. March is the second month of this project, and the theme for March hit me hard: the influence of the words I say.
I’ve struggled with the things I say for my entire life. I remember once when I was little, my Dad (likely fed up with my endless jabbering and questions) told me I would wind up in jail if I didn’t control my mouth. As formidable as that threat was, it didn’t help me to hold my tongue.
I’ve always been a talkative, precocious, mouthy, sassy, chatty, lippy kid, and that hasn’t changed. Being talkative isn’t a problem in and of itself. But things I choose to say and how they affect others has often been a problem. I remember once during my freshman year of college, my Mom sat me down and told me I needed to change my attitude and my words because I was just being mean sometimes.
Wow, that hit hard. Stemming from bullying in my past, I had developed a defense mechanism that went out of control sometimes, firing hurtful barbs into my friends and family, disguised as “jokes”. And even worse, sometimes I knew I was doing it. After that heart to heart with my Mom, I tried hard to change. I became more conscious of the effects of my words, and I tried to filter things better. But I was never really successful.
This time, I have more hope, because I’m working alongside God on this problem. I can’t change myself, but with His help, I can. This #PrayerDare was a blessing for me, and a means of intentionally tackling this problem of mine. I want my words to honor and glorify Him. I don’t was to wound or alienate people with what I say, and to those I’ve hurt before: I’m sorry.
Already, though I’m only on the second day of this #PrayerDare, God is challenging me, humbling me, and pointing out how I treat others with my words. But He’s also given me an answer to a prayer I’ve been earnestly praying for a few weeks, and showing me how this challenge fits into His bigger plans for me.
It’s painful admitting how my words have hurt others in the past, and I’m ashamed that I’ve let the Enemy use my words to further his cause. But no more-my mouth and my words belong to God, and I pray He uses them to bring glory to Him. I pray He transforms the way I speak so that others can see Him in my words. And I pray He shows me exactly how my words affect others.
It’s not to late to join in, if you want to join of community of intentional Pray-ers. Check out Amanda’s blog for more info, or search for #PrayerDare on Twitter. And if you are joining in, comment here so I can pray for YOU!