Scripture: Psalm 19
Key verse: (14) Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Reflection: Many pastors use the key verse above as a prayer before they preach in worship. They might have been taught that John Calvin, our theological ancestor, prayed this prayer in worship. Often they change the verse to pray “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable to you…” making the second phrase plural rather than singular. This is a prayer for the preacher and for the gathered congregation that heightens our awareness of the holiness of proclaiming and hearing God’s word.
What exactly is the prayer here? I know that the words of my mouth are sometimes tossed carelessly, sometimes aimed like angry daggers, sometimes rolled out full of cynicism or disdain. Asking God to make my words acceptable is a prayer that God will be the Lord over my speech. My words will offer good news, my words will bring peace and hope, my words will call for justice and righteousness.
I know that the meditation of my heart is sometimes dark and brooding, sometimes judgmental and self-righteous, sometimes selfish and rebellious. Asking God to make the meditation of my heart acceptable is a prayer that God will be the Lord over my mind and my will. God will be the Lord over my thoughts and over my decision-making.
This week, between Christmas and New Year’s, let’s ask God to make our words and our thoughts acceptable. As we begin another year, may our words and our meditations be faithful to God’s will. May our words and our meditations reveal God’s values. May we have the integrity between our inner life and our outer life so that we glorify God in all ways.
Prayer: Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].