“Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties” (Psalm 141:3,4).
The psalmist prayed the Lord would “set a watch,” or a guard, upon his mouth and heart. It is not that we are to be “guarded” into silence, but rather, that the “Watchman” would allow only those things to pass our lips that are pleasing to His hearing.
Prayer is one of these things, as seen in the verse preceding our text: “Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice” (v.2). As sinners, how is He pleased with our prayers? When we follow David’s example in Psalm 32:5: “I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin,” we can be sure our prayer pleases the “sentry” of our words, for “the prayer of the upright is His delight” (Proverbs 15:8).
In addition to prayer, praise also meets with His approval. We can say as David, “O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise” (Psalm 51:15). “Let my mouth be filled with thy praise” (Psalm 71:8), “for it is good to sing praises unto our God” (Psalm 147:1). “My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes” (Psalm 119:171).
As we meditate upon God’s word, our speech becomes increasingly “seasoned with salt” (Colossians 4:6). It is not the quantity of our words that is effective, but the quality of their content, as they reflect the wisdom of God found in the word of God. “The lips of the righteous feed many” (Proverbs 10:21). “The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life” (Proverbs 10:11). CJH