Prayer: Grant almighty God that we, as your people, called out of the world and set apart to live holy lives before you would not deceive our hearts about our standing with you, but, instead, deal honestly with our eternal standing. We look intently into your Word and note that a mark of one who is genuinely godly and religious is that they control their tongue. Your Spirit teaches us that how we use our words reflects our hearts. We confess to you that our hearts are often far from you and, therefore, our words often fail to meet the standard established by your holy Word. Forgive us, Father, for how often we use our tongue for destructive and wicked ends. We sow discord. We gossip and slander others made in your image. We complain about our circumstances and grumble at your sovereign right to rule over us. With our tongues, we curse others and do not bless. We discourage, demean, and ruin reputations and otherwise use our words to hurt instead of heal. Forgive us, Father, for the many ways in which we fall short of your commands in this area. WE are ashamed at how careless we often are with our words. We misuse the gift of communication and, instead, use it for evil. Please grant us self-control and grant that we would erect a muzzle over our mouths. Please grant us pure hearts that we might not sin against you. These things we pray for in the name of Christ our Lord. Amen.

Scripture Meditation: James 1:26-27; James 3:1-12; Matt. 15:18-19

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