March 21, 2016

Finding Rest: Praying the Psalms

Psalm 62:1–2; 5–6My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.:
source
Ever had a time when life just seems like a whirlwind? Or a never-ending storm of disappointments, more trials, uncertainties and pain? Or perhaps life is just rolling along as it has been for so long, and you're restless. It is during these varying times in life when we get tired. Whether it be from the tempest tossing or muddling through the mundane or trying to keep standing up through the whirlwind--we all get tired. And oftentimes, though we know how to pray, words fail. There is no shame in clinging to the Holy Spirit for help in these times.

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26-27 NKJV

Not only do we have an intercessor, but we have a Savior able to empathize with us in our weaknesses, having been tested and tried in every way we are. Nothing is too large or small to bring to the throne of grace by prayer and thanksgiving. Not so much of a Pollyanna-esque check list type thanksgiving, but a heart full of faith: claiming that God is over our worries, pain and overwhelming trials. It is a powerful, but hard to put into practice thing to thank God for taking care of what is on our hearts before we see a result or change. When that faith we crave struggles to stand upright, one of my go-to's is my favorite book of the Bible: Psalms.
The writers of the Psalms, especially David, went through the wringer. And these words echo every emotion we face-doubt, anger, sorrow, impatience, depression, anxiety--but tempered with the writer reminding himself of God's perfect love, justice and truth, no matter how bleak the circumstances are. There are Psalms of praise through out this book too, to call to mind and have hope in what God has done and more than that--who He is.

These verses of late thanks to a dear friend (hi Savanna!) have been part of my prayer life. Trusting that God's hands make no mistake--yes this covers malformed hips. My purpose in life is to learn His heart and obey His word as best I can, to honor His name. I love the verse here that speaks of how others will be glad when they see me, because I have hope(d) in HIM. That, please Lord, is my lifelong goal. With my spoken words, actions and especially my written words.

"Your hands have made me and fashioned me; give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments. Those who fear You will be glad when they see me, because I have hoped in Your word. I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are right, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me. Let, I pray, Your merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to Your word to Your servant." Ps. 119:73-76

There are over one hundred Psalms in the Bible--if you're wanting to get started reading/praying them, may I recommend Psalms 42 and 43? They have been a balm to my soul these last months. If you have a favorite Psalm or another Scripture verse you pray, share them in the comments.