Thoughts for the Day

Thursday, 1st June 2023: A prayer for protection

Protection Evil Prayer Psalm 141 God

Reading : Verses from Psalm 141


I call upon you, O Lord; come quickly to me;
give ear to my voice when I call to you.
Let my prayer be counted as incense before you,
and the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice.

Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord;
keep watch over the door of my lips.
Do not turn my heart to any evil,
to busy myself with wicked deeds
in company with those who work iniquity.

Let the righteous strike me;
let the faithful correct me....

But my eyes are turned towards you, O God, my Lord;
in you I seek refuge; do not leave me defenceless.

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


We may think of a prayer for protection as being a request to God to keep someone physically safe. We visualise situations of war, or devastation by hurricane or earthquake, or someone in fear for their life. And yes, we do babble desperate words of help when such things happens. There is no need for carefully crafted pieces of prose for we have no doubt shouted "HELP GOD!", long before we ring for Fire, Police, or an Ambulance.

But prayers of protection can be for other things than physical safety, they can be for spiritual protection! In Psalm 141 David has turned to God at the time of the evening prayers, and asks that his words will rise like the beautiful smell of incense before God. But he knows he needs help. He acknowledges that just as out of his mouth and his heart good can flow so can evil. He asks God to 'guard' his mouth and says "Do not turn my heart to any evil".

We can all appear loving and kind to others while despising them or thinking critical thoughts; we can all use our mouths to speak harshly of others whether to their face or not! We should remember that Jesus said thinking was as bad as doing (see Matthew 5.21-22). We all need to pray for protection - from ourselves - that God will purify our thoughts and our words!


Heavenly Father,
You know us as no-one else knows us.
You know our secret desires;
our unkind thoughts;
those things we dislike;
and the way we plan
to get our own way.
You also know how we
wound others by our speech,
or by our deliberate lack of it.
We ask Your forgiveness,
and Your help to purify
both our thoughts and our speech.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to play this Christian song:

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