“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.” – Psalm 19:14
During my theological education, there was a distinct chaplain who began his sermon the same every time. It did not matter what scripture he was preaching from. It did not matter if it was a sermon meant to comfort the afflicted or afflict the comfortable. He began his sermon with the poem:
I should have died.
I should have been crucified.
I should have hung on a cross in total disgrace.
But Jesus, God’s son, came and took my place.
I have not heard or seen this man in 25 years. I cannot remember a single one of his sermons. But I can hear his voice clearly in my mind, uttering those words.
Many preachers begin their sermons with the prayer from Psalm 19:14. This verse comes at the end of a psalm that extols the grandeur of God. The God who created the heavens. The God whose laws perfectly govern the heavens and the earth. In the light of this God we live and love. In humility, the Psalmist prays for God’s guidance and help that his/her life would be in alignment with “our rock and redeemer.”
This simple prayer would do well to leave the pulpit and become a daily prayer for us all. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, my rock and my redeemer.” It is a simple verse, an easy-to-memorize petition, that could help keep us on the path we are called to walk.