Praying For Those Given to Profanity or Swearing

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29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.We’re not called to complain about those given to profanity; rather it is to pray for those given to profanity

Are you troubled by the rising amount of profanity on the Internet, movies and everyday life?  When I originally ventured on the information superhighway, profanity was seldom heard. Even if I did run into it; it’s nothing compared to today’s environment.

Before I get into today’s topic, I’d like to make something clear.  Profanity did not get its start on the Internet. It’s part of human nature.  As humans, we normally use profanity to express our negative reactions or feelings. For instance, I have no problem with the word, ”

For instance, I have no problem with the word, “bullsh!t” and it is usually when I’m confronting a very bad lie or falsehood. In this case, it’s more of a slang than a true profanity or curse.

A true profanity is often destructive in words and it’s used to express anger and disgust towards someone or something. Though an F-Bomb is a true profanity; it’s not a curse.

A curse is a pronouncement or request for destruction to come on someone or something.  It’s the very opposite spirit of what Jesus says to do. “We’re to bless those, who curse us. We’re to pray for those, who mistreat us.” (see Luke 6:28Did you notice the word, “for”?  We’re not called to complain about those given to profanity; rather it is to pray for those given to profanity.

How does one pray for someone, who is uttering profanity?  Would you like to read some tips and ideas for praying for such a person? Did you notice the sword in the photo?

That last question is not a random comment. It’s a hint and a reminder that we’re not supposed to be wrestling against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (see Eph 6:12)  That quote comes from the apostle, Paul.

Why did he say this? It’s a reminder that we’re in the middle of a spiritual warfare and that our enemies are not our fellow human beings.  This is an important point for what I’m going to suggest.  For some people, they express their anger and frustrations in the form of profanity. Not everyone grew up in a Christian home or lives inside a monastery. 

At college, I quickly learn that some people will utter profanity like it’s going out of style. It did not take long to learn that there was an underlying reason for the distasteful words. The guy was expressing anger and it’s the only way that he knew. Today, I may have offered to pray with the guy. I suspect that he would have backed off.

Why not? It’s a whole lot better than being angry about a problem. It may have also given the young man, an opportunity to learn a better way to deal with his issue.  What if, he is doing it for the sake of rattling people? If he sees that you’re serious then he may opt to not do it when you’re around. After all, you’re not playing their game.

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You’re not praying for a foul mouth jerk; rather, you are likely praying for a hurting soul.

Am I proposing something new? Though the idea does have its origin in the Scriptures; it is an old sermon by Charles Spurgeon that give light to the idea.  The key is to pray for the person; as opposed to complaining or judging the person.  They could very well be expressing a need for prayer and they don’t know it.

What if the person refuses prayer? 

You could silently pray for the individual if he’s in the vicinity.  You could also pray for the person when you are home or in your car.  The key is, you need to listen to what the person is actually saying.  Ask the Holy Spirit to shine a light of truth on the situation.

Does this mean that I should listen to shows like Jerry Springer?

No, I am not talking about verbal graffiti. I’ve seen the show when I visited an office or two. There are YouTube channels that do the same thing and I will often avoid such channel; as they are only engaging in useless trash talks. If perchance I get a visiting troll, this site is moderated. Guess what? I may pray for you; however, your comment will not show up.

There is a hurting world outside the four walls of a church building and they are in desperate need of God’s mercy, love, forgiveness, and help.  The Church needs to go where they are because they are not all knocking on the door of our church building. However, they may be knocking at your door and they don’t know the reason.

Do you know the profanity that you’re groaning about? It may well be a clue that “This person needs prayer!”  Guess who’s knocking on the door of a Church?  If you’re new to the idea of what I’m saying then here is a partial quote from the Christian Apologetic & Research Ministry (CARM):

The Church is the “body of believers.”  It is comprised of those who have been saved and redeemed by the True and Living God, based upon the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus upon the cross.  Inclusion in the Body of Christ is not by membership in a denomination, nor by baptism, nor or by dedication.  It is not received by ritual, or by ceremony, or by natural birth.  It is received by faith (Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:8). [See “What is the Church?”]

This quote is just a starting point. If you are a Christian then you should have the gift of the Holy Spirit. Guess what? He’s not just sitting there. Jesus desires to touch the lives of the people, around us.  Even more, God wants to do it through you.  How? One way is to intercede for that person with the foul mouth.

Did you notice that I didn’t say about removing the foul language from the person? If Christians would pray about the person’s need rather than the mouth; we may be pleasantly surprised. This tactic is not a one shot deal. You’ll find that you need to keep praying for the individual.  You can also pray that they come to know God, the Father and the One, whom he sent.

We sometimes utter profanity because of our frustrations and our inability to affect change. However, there is someone who can do something.  You may already know this amazing person. His name is Jesus of Nazareth.  He sits on the right hand of God, the Father.  We could either intercede for the person or introduce them to Christ Jesus.

As always, I would encourage you to ask for guidance and directions from the Holy Spirit. He is quite capable of helping you. Here is why. The Holy Spirit and you can see what’s happening and respond. I can’t. My job is to offer suggestions and stir up ideas and thoughts. For this reason, I’m pointing to Christ and the art of prayer.

Sounds good. What if, I work with a bunch of guys that simply talk trash because it’s perceived as normal.  I don’t want to get pulled into it.

I’m getting a whiff of that on YouTube; except that I have the freedom to walk away. If you are given to a habit of spouting profanity then ask God to forgive you and receive God’s forgiveness.  Ask Jesus to give you a new set of vocabulary and ask the Holy Spirit to put a bit into your mouth.

I will give credits to people, who do manage it to some extent. It’s not an easy task in this day and age. However, it is best done with help from Jesus. Through Jesus, we can follow through with what Paul says in Ephesians 4:29

29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

Keep in mind, we are not supposed to isolate ourselves from the world.  Christians are to be like salt and light in this world. We’re to preserve what is good and there is plenty of good on the Internet and in the real world.  At the same time, we’re to shine a light to bring about change and instill hope; not condemnation and judgement.

Ask God, “How can I pray for my co-workers?” “What are you wanting me, to do?”  It may well be that you need to simply be there.  Let the Holy Spirit do the work and guide you in praying for that person. Be assured that God will direct you on what to do.


Barry Brindisi

Author of “You Are Not A Lesser Human”.

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