Respond- Don’t React

Prayer ideas from Guideposts {entire devotion below}

Short prayers to help “respond” and not “react” when in tense situations with others.
Holy Spirit guide my words
May my words be pleasing to You, O Lord.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. -Ps 19:14 NLT

Holy Spirit guide my words
Help me to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry.

Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry. For man’s anger does not promote the righteousness God [wishes and requires]. -Ja 1:19-20 AMP

He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding has a cool spirit{is even-tempered}. -Prv 17:27 AMP

Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a [self-confident] fool than for him. -Prv 29:20 AMP

Holy Spirit guide my words
Help me to give a gentle answer.

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. -Prv 15:1 NASB

Holy Spirit guide my words
Help me to speak words of life.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]. -Prv 18:21 AMP

Holy Spirit guide my words
Help me to speak words that bring healing.

There are those who speak rashly, like the piercing of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. -Prv 12:18 AMP

Holy Spirit guide my words
Let my speech be gracious.

Let your speech at all times be gracious (pleasant and winsome), seasoned [as it were] with salt, [so that you may never be at a loss] to know how you ought to answer anyone [who puts a question to you]. -Col 4:6 AMP

Respond, Don’t React
By Julia Attaway

My 18-year-old–who has never been an easy child–was exceptionally irrational and argumentative the other day. After a bit of back-and-forth, it was clear that my powers of persuasion were no match for his ability to aggravate.

On the brink of saying something I knew I’d regret I took a deep breath, mentally stepped back, and said my go-to prayer in these situations:

Holy Spirit, guide my words.

Respond, don't react. Photo by Jupiter Images, Thinkstock.

Holy Spirit, guide my words. For words of peace and love do exist and are waiting to be said, even if my frustration-befuddled brain has no idea what they might be.

Holy Spirit, guide my words. For I would rather be guided by the wisdom of the Spirit than by my desperate-to-be-in-control heart.

Holy Spirit, guide my words. For my son needs the Holy Spirit in his own heart, and I need to be open to the possibility that I may be the channel through which that happens.

This prayer first arose in my heart the day it occurred to me that God calls me to respond to Him, not react. If I’m to love others as Christ loved me, I need to respond to them instead of react to their behavior.

Think about it: Reactions are me-centered. They reflect how I feel, and are an expression of what I expect or desire or demand of others.

Reactions are the lightning-quick words that burst forth when I am upset or angry or determined to get someone else to behave the way I want. They are what happens when someone else’s comments or actions strike the flint of my pride.

Responses are the polar opposite: seeing where another person is, and meeting him or her there, with love. Responses involve empathy, compassion, insight and a desire for reconciliation that exceeds the desire to win an argument.

When I first started thinking about this, moving from reacting to responding felt like an impossible task. Yet I’ve learned the distance can be covered with a two-second prayer: Holy Spirit, guide my words.

Which short prayers help you in the throes of an argument?


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