By John David Hicks
After my birthday, my wife gave me this prayer:
Lord, you know me better than I know myself, that I am getting older and someday will be old.
Keep me from getting talkative, and particularly form the fatal habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.
Release me from craving to try to straighten out everybody’s affairs.
Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details. Give me wings to get to the point.
I ask for grace enough to listen to the tales of others pains. Help me to endure them with patience. But seal my lips on my pains. They are increasing and my love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by.
Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally it is possible that I may be mistaken.
Keep me reasonably sweet; I do not want to be a saint… some of them are so hard to live with… but a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil.
Make me thoughtful but not moody; helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of knowledge and wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all, but you know, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.
In Jesus name, I pray, Amen.
“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry’ for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires” (James 1:19-20).