Praying through a Psalm of Hope

I’m not sure when I began doing this, but I often find myself in town with a few minutes between appointments or before needing to pick up the kids from school. Enough time to want to be productive, but not enough time to head home, unbuckle a toddler or two, and then get them back out the door to get to the next activity. One day, I started parking in front of people’s houses and praying. Quite often I know of particular requests or burdens people carry, but sometimes I’m just led by God without knowing the circumstances. 

When this happens, I turn on the read aloud voice in my Bible app, choose a random Psalm, and pray along. The Psalms make this easy, because they encompass such a range of emotions we can all relate to: loneliness, there’s a Psalm for that. Joyful? There’s a Psalm for that. Frustration and anger, there’re plenty! 

One thing I’d like to do this year is pray along with the Psalms more, so here is an example and I hope you’ll pray along with me and find some comfort and peace through this act of worship. 

Psalm 39:4-8

“O Lord, make me know my end

and what is the measure of my days;

let me know how fleeting I am!

Lord, help me to know that I am merely here because of You; help me to know that my time is limited and valuable. Help me to use my time on earth to glorify You and advance Your kingdom. 

Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,

and my lifetime is as nothing before you.

Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah

There’s nothing I can do to change the amount of time I’m allotted here. You are mighty and know the time I have and what I will accomplish. Set my feet on the path of following You.

Surely a man goes about as a shadow!

Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;

man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!

Humble me and make me know my limitations. Show me what is important in my actions and thoughts and concerns, and allow me to not worry about the future and earthly things beyond my control. 

“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait?
  My hope is in you.
Lord God, guide me and show me the steps You have for me. Let me hear Your direction and rely on Your grace and guidance.

Deliver me from all my transgressions.

    Do not make me the scorn of the fool!

Save me from my faults and my shortcomings. You alone are the One that saves. Amen.

There are plenty of ways to go about this type of prayer. You can listen to a verse and then respond outloud. You could write a verse and journal a response. You can choose a verse a day to ponder as you go about your business. But I’ve found it is important to take a little time at the end to sit quietly and empty and wait for the Lord to respond in some way. So often I find myself shooting arrows of prayer at God expecting action, but I forget to listen for a reaction within myself. 

The options for praying through Scripture are endless, but the fruit can go on forever as well. My prayer for you, Pastor’s Wife, is that you learn to fall deeper and deeper in love with Jesus and the Scripture we’ve been given to guide us. 

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