Matt and I are taking a class on Wednesday nights that is called Learning to Pray: A Study of the Book of Psalms . I am going to be honest and say that I feel like I have always struggled with the way I pray. I feel like I ramble and then allow myself to get off of track often. I do feel like as long as it is a sincere prayer it doesn't matter how it sounds, but doesn't everyone want to pray beautifully? But then I go back to viewing my relationship with God like that as a parent. When Connor talks to me, I eat it up. Especially the times that he is looking me right in the eyes and is so sincere about what he is saying. I would imagine that when we take the time to speak like that to God, that he might eat it up a little too. This class, thus far, has really made me think and truly appreciate God so much more. Tonight was no different. I am going to share Psalms 139 with you and I might insert some thoughts throughout.
1 O Lord, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down,
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O Lord.
When we read this tonight it was such a comfort to me. Strange, because it can also be concerning. No one is perfect and there are going to be times that I think things that I would not want anyone to know, especially God! BUT, it is a comfort to me because I think there is so much concern in this world to be this or that to different people to get them to like you. Granted, I am not really talking about the stage of life I'm currently in,because in my old age (HA!) I am pretty much what you see is what you get, but with God you don't have to ever pretend. He knows everything already. Which can also be an encouragement to walk the walk :)
5 You hem me in - behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there,
if I make my bed in the depths, you are
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
God is with us. All. The.Time. I love that and pray that I remember it.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of
16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
This is a comfort to me, in that when I start to worry about things I can remember that God knows. He knows what is going to happen and I trust Him. I might not always understand, especially when bad things happen, but I do trust Him.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.
I am still with you.
Oh, how I can't wait for the day to hear God's thoughts!
19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your advesaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord,
and abhor those who rise up against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
We talked about how raw these couple of verses were. We discussed how maybe the write (David??) realized that he was thinking it, God already knew he was thinking it, so he just decided to say it aloud.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
It's like he remembered that while there was evil in the world that he wanted God to get rid of, he also wanted God to get rid of the evil in him as well. I love these two verses and really want them to be something that I pray regularly.
What are your thoughts about this Psalms? I would love to hear!