52 Workday Prayers: Psalm 12 - Tempted by Flattery and Boastfulness

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May the LORD silence all flattering lips
and every boastful tongue.

Psalm 12:3


O Lord, the temptation is there so much of the time,
To tell the boss “Great job!” when it really was only so-so,
To gush all over the major customer, the big investor, or the promising donor,
To exaggerate for effect, offering flattery beyond reality.

Help me, I pray, to speak the truth,
To weigh my words in the balance of your judgment.
May I affirm and encourage,
May I admire and congratulate,
But only in ways that are just and true.

And then there’s boasting.
Some boast of their successes without shame,
Making sure everyone knows of their achievements.
I hate that . . . and sometimes envy those who can do it.
I wouldn’t do that.
It’s far too obvious.
I will boast more subtly,
Cleverly masking my vanity with feigned humility.

Lord, help me to enjoy my accomplishments without being puffed up by them.
May I always remember that I owe everything to you.
And if I boast, may I boast not in my wisdom, strength, or riches,
But in you, Lord, in your kindness, justice, and righteousness. Amen.

Ponder Throughout the Day

As I seek to affirm others, may I always speak the truth.

For Further Reflection

Read all of Psalm 12, paying attention to what the Spirit of God is stirring up in your heart, especially in relationship to your work. Talk with God about what you are thinking and feeling.

You might also reflect on the following passage from Jeremiah:

This is what the LORD says:
“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
but let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,”
declares the LORD. - Jeremiah 9:23-24

This prayer is part of a collection: 52 Workday Prayers: Learn from the Psalms How to Pray through Your Work. To purchase this devotional and small group guide, visit the De Pree Center store.