"Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord;

keep watch over the door of my lips."

So writes King David in Psalm 141.

This is my new prayer as I start each day ...

Dear God, please set a guard over my mouth.

Keep watch over the door of my lips. AMEN."

I met with some colleagues a few weeks ago to discuss an upcoming teaching series we are working on at our church.

We talked for 90 minutes and I recorded all of it.

Then I played it back.

And I noted that I had no guard over my mouth ...

and that the door of my lips appeared to have no watchman.


I am an interrupter.

I am a finisher-of-sentences.

I am a talk-over-another-person kind of person.

I am a listen-just-so-I-can-respond kind of friend.

I am a how-can-I-turn-this-conversation-back-to-me participant.

I am what some call a "conversational narcissist."

This is a super painful admission, but one that is so, so important to my growth.

And so ... this is where God meets me.

In love, 

in grace, yes ...

but also in a challenging, demanding way.

Because God loves me too much to leave me in the darkness of my own denial. 

And in his kindness, he also had my dear, dear friend give me a book on listening for my birthday.

(Don't you love God's good persistence?)

And I am reading it, and it is painful and powerful.

I will share my learnings ...

But for now, l will simply start with this prayer:

(Might it need to be yours, too?)

Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord;

keep watch over the door of my lips.