Words Few & Full

James 3:1-12

All of us make many mistakes, after all. If anyone makes no mistakes in what they say, such a person is a fully complete human being, capable of keeping firm control over the whole body as well.

This morning as I was reflecting over James 3, I started to feel like I was in a bit of a rut, approaching Scripture and writing in the same manner that I have for a while now.

So I stopped, and prayed, waiting to move forward, listening for insight. Then the Spirit reminded me of a suggestion I came across a few months back of writing a prayer based on the passage you’ve just read.

Great idea!

This can encapsulate a particular reading into a collect which you may return to later to relive your experience with that passage.

If you’re also interested in this approach to change things up a bit, you might use the traditional model  for a liturgical prayer known as a collect which has three main elements:

[Address to God]

i    Theme from the text (often refers to the past),

ii   Petition drawn from the text (often refers to the present),

iii Development of the petition (often refers to the future),


Here’s the prayer I wrote this morning based on this familiar passage about the potential immense wreckage that can be caused by such a small part of the human body—the tongue:

O God of comforting speech,

Forgive me for hurting so many, especially those close to me whom I love dearly, with the thoughtless words that escape my mouth.

Purify my lips, and purge my speech, so that my words may be few and full, only what is edifying and necessary.

May everything I say be bathed in thought and Spirit before it is uttered, giving others encouragement and You glory.

I ask this in the kind name of Jesus and Your empowering Spirit.


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