Thursday, February 2, 2012

Psalm 32 and Praying Through Scripture

Lately I've been trying to pray through scripture to help strengthen my prayers, to give me variety in how and what I pray for, and to help me meditate on scripture long enough to remember or at least retain it. Doing this has helped to keep me focused during my prayer time, and increased the amount of time I spend praying.

As implied in yesterday's Turned Off for the Glory of the Lord Update, I've been struggling with distraction, sluggard-ness, and a lack of self motivation lately. So Psalm 32 really spoke to me. There were so many good things in there to pray, so many motivators, reminders, and for good measure a good swift kick in the rear near the end. I wanted to share the Psalm with you because it was so encouraging to me as I prayed through it today.

Psalm 32
1 Blessed is the one 
whose transgressions are forgiven, 
whose sins are covered. 
2 Blessed is the one 
whose sin the LORD does not count against them 
and in whose spirit is no deceit.

3 When I kept silent, 
my bones wasted away 
through my groaning all day long. 
4 For day and night 
your hand was heavy on me; 
my strength was sapped 
as in the heat of summer.[b]

5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you 
and did not cover up my iniquity. 
I said, “I will confess 
my transgressions to the LORD.” 
And you forgave 
the guilt of my sin.

6 Therefore let all the faithful pray to you 
while you may be found; 
surely the rising of the mighty waters 
will not reach them. 
7 You are my hiding place; 
you will protect me from trouble 
and surround me with songs of deliverance.

8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; 
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. 
9 Do not be like the horse or the mule, 
which have no understanding 
but must be controlled by bit and bridle 
or they will not come to you. 
10 Many are the woes of the wicked, 
but the LORD’s unfailing love 
surrounds the one who trusts in him.

11 Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous; 
sing, all you who are upright in heart!

I found verses 3 and 4 to be especially true for me. The more lazy I've gotten the more exhausted I have become. There are so many verses in here that speak to all of the reasons I've been convicted to cut out Television during the weeks, and start weeding away other distractions and bad habits.  The horse and mule mentioned in verse 9 were a nice swift kick in the rear for me today. :-p Then there is verse 8 which is so encouraging and affirming.


If your interested in giving it a try, this is how it works for me. Basically, you read the first verse then pray, whatever the Lord is laying on your heart, as much as the Lord is laying on your heart through that verse, when you run out of things to pray or feel yourself getting distracted, go to the next verse. That's it.

The Psalms are unique in that they were inspired by God, to be offered back to God, and therefore they are a great place to start praying through the scriptures. The suggestion I'm using is to break the Psalms down into "Psalms of the day" to help you stay on a schedule. Now, if you take the total number of Psalms and divide by 30 you get 5 psalms per day, so take the day on the calendar (today is the 2nd) start there, then keep adding 30 till you get 5, example; 2, 32, 62, 92, 122 are the Psalms for today. The idea is to use as many as you have time to use, or just one. Don't worry about praying all five, instead skim through them looking for the one that best speaks to you, and then pray through it.

Does this Psalm speak to you?
I'm curious if you have ever prayed through scripture and what that looks like for you.

Thanks for stopping by, I'm looking forward to hearing about how the Lord is working in your life, so leave a comment below or join through Google Friend Connect and I'll come check out your blog!

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