“From the Heart”
We cannot know for sure, O God, from where those things that proceed out of our hearts and defile us come. We do know for sure, though, that they are there, and that they come out in our thoughts, in our motives, in our words, and in our actions.
Lord, have mercy.
Cause us to confess, with great realism and honesty, those harmful and destructive attitudes in our hearts, whether they are in the open so that we are very aware of them or they are in hidden corners so that we have to look hard to see them.
And would you please, O God, by your grace and mercy, not only remove them bit by bit but also replace them with positive and helpful attitudes such as good intentions, love, respect, generosity, truth-telling, and affirmation.
“Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth enters the stomach, and goes out into the sewer? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.” (Matthew 15:17-20)