Thought Conditioner #3 is just a piece of a verse of a psalm, but it can be a life changing prayer.
Renew a right spirit within me. —Psalm 51:10
Just reading these words changes my perspective as I read them. How many times have I tried to force people or situations to change to be the way I wanted them to be? How many times have I looked down from my high horse and judged another person harshly? How many times have I allowed myself to fill up with anger or self-pity? This verse is the antidote to all of those ineffective, harmful thoughts, attitudes, and actions.
Renew a right spirit within me. It is not up to me to force change upon others. It is not my job to judge the world. Asking for a right spirit to be renewed in me calls me to change not others, but myself. It puts me back in alignment with the divine and with other people. Dr Peale wrote, “If your automatic emotional reaction is irritable, crabby, selfish, haughty, it impairs or even destroys your relationships.” I have certainly harmed relationships in the past with my own bad emotional reactions. I don’t want to do that any more. This verse reminds me that it is only myself that I have any power to change.
Asking for a right spirit allows God to work in my heart and in my mind over time. It is not helpful for me to nurture anger or self-pity. This verse allows God’s healing touch to realign my attitudes and behaviors to be in sync with my best self, the way I really want to be. It also gives me a quiet inner peace. Just saying these words works as a balm when negative attitudes and self-talk lurk inside me, waiting to upset me and destroy my peace.
And here is the really good news in this verse. I can use it anytime. No matter how my day has gone up to this point, no matter how I have allowed negativity to persuade me that it is truth, no matter how I have acted, I can begin again right now. Renew a right spirit with me. This gives me the power to begin again, right here and right now. I can feel my spirit calming, even as I say it to myself. I can feel God’s presence within me, renewing me, filling me with peace and love.