“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be his glorious Name forever; may the whole earth be filled with His Glory! Amen and Amen!” Ps 72:18-19
Psalms 72 starts off as a plea to God for the king and through 17 verses asks God for support to the king while additionally praying for the king to deliver godly results to those he rules. Why should I pray like this? And how do I remember to end up with my heart inclined towards You, O Lord?
I don’t know about you but I read this 3 times, slowing down each time, trying to find the jewel, the nugget of gold, the “aha” moment in Ps 72. Then I slowly came to realize that no matter what else was being said this is a text book example of how to pray.
I don’t pray like this often. I get lazy. I seem to say the same lazy prayer pattern every time I open my mouth. Not that it is bad, but candidly as I am writing I see it as lazy or perhaps the better description is “under developed.”
I am just like a bunch of folks in my Christian walk: Up and down, slow and fast, faithful at times but way more unfaithful than faithful and disciplined.
Trying to detect it in my daily life is difficult. I can “do” good things, biblical things, all day long. Kind to folks? Check. Patient? Check. Do loving things for my family? Check. Do acts of grace and mercy to strangers? Check, check, and double check: I can check off the punch list with the best of them.
Where I can tell how deep my well runs is when I pray. If I pray shallowly I can tell. If I pray without speaking out loud to God, even though He knows my heart and thoughts, it is an indicator of my “well.” If I pray without conscious thought of the Scriptures or sound doctrine is that being “under developed?” It is in my life.
The Scriptures indicate that I am to renew my mind, change my life, to imitate Him who went before me. How am I to do that? One way I remember is to read the Scriptures out loud and with feeling. By doing that I can begin the process of embedding the Word in my heart. Confession: reading the Scriptures silently doesn’t have as much impact for me.
Father, thank You for all that You do—to change me into the image of the Son, my Lord. I have begun to understand this isn’t a process of osmosis but it demands of me effort. “Take all I am and all that I cling to; You are my Savior I owe everything to…” AMEN.