Published on February 15, 2016
One of my all time favorite prayers is that of Psalm 139! In this prayer, I call upon our all-knowing and ever-present God. The words of this psalm call me to acknowledge how very much God knows about me and still loves me wholly and uniquely. I am reminded that there is nothing that God does not know about me and still He loves me unconditionally.
In praying this psalm, I usually pray it very slowly, line by line, reflecting upon and pondering the words, thoughts, and phrases. If I have rid myself of distractions, I experience the challenge of applying what I have read to the more recent aspects of my spiritual life, me behaviors, and my ministry interactions. All of this guides my conversation with God!
“O, Lord, you probe me and you know me: you know when I sit and when I stand, you understand my thoughts from afar…Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know the whole of it.” (verses 1-4)
Sometimes I am embarrassed. “He knew exactly what I was thinking, and my thoughts were not so kind.” “Oh, I wish I hadn’t said that. I could have been more patient, more kind.” And yet, God is there to help me, to support me, to pick me up and put me back on track.
“Where can I run from your spirit? From your presence where can I flee?” (verse 7)
You, God, are everywhere. I cannot hide; I cannot avoid your ever-presence. Regardless of what I say and do or what I do not say or do, you stay with me to counsel, bolster, encourage, and lead me on.
“You have formed my innermost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made; wonderful are your works.” (verses 1 and 14)
No matter how I have faltered, how I have not measured up to all that I could be, how I have not been as made in your image as I could be, how I have not been as generous, merciful, or loving as one of your children, you love me and keep me under your watchful eye and loving heart.
These are but a few special passages that have helped me along the way. I invite you and encourage you to use Psalm 139 as a prayer for Lent. Lent is a special time that we are called to renew ourselves, repent of our wayward ways, and turn back to our loving God and Father. The final verse of this psalm is a challenge as we start on our Lenten journey.
“Probe me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; See if my way is crooked and lead me in the way of old.”
Lord, in your mercy, lead me back to YOU!