Praying the Psalms – Psalm 30
In this upcoming series we are going to be doing some work on our souls. I want to prepare you for this work. I want you to take it seriously and I want you to grow because of it. So think with me for a minute and answer these questions as honestly as you can.
Do you have the private and personal devotional life you wish you had?
Why not? In other words, what do you wish you were experiencing that you aren’t or in what areas do you hope to grow?
It has been said that most of the Bible speaks to us, but that the Psalms speak for us. Have you ever considered using God’s own word – Psalms written by struggling sinners just like us – as a guide for you own prayers?
When you pray do you sometimes wonder if you have the right words? Do you find yourself getting distracted by a million things in your head?
Are you prepared to grow in your own personal spiritual life? Are you prepared to admit areas where you have fallen short?
Are you prepared to receive grace?
Soren Kierkegaard once wrote a parable about a poor peasant farmer who was adopted by the king. The king gave him his name, his title and his property. To the peasant this seemed like too much. He wanted recognition for his hard work, he wanted acceptance for who he was on his own. The king wanted to make him a son. The peasant felt this this was disrespectful towards him. He wanted to reject this privilege.
How often do we approach God the same way? We long for acceptance as we are – we want validation that the people we have made of ourselves is good enough. But God says – “No, I will adopt you and make you my own.” This is grace.
Are you prepared to receive this sort of grace even when recognizing that this grace comes in spite of and even because of these shortcomings?
I often come to God with hands full of accomplishments and plans. And in the Psalms he has reminded me to hear his voice saying, “Dear child, lay those down and just come to me empty handed.”
Are you prepared to take this adventure this summer? I hope you will. And I pray that many in our church will do the difficult work of laying down our offerings and being received empty handed by our maker. I pray that as we receive his grace and goodness we will enter into our community with love, sacrifice, mercy, and service.
In changing us, God will change Bismarck Mandan. Join me in this transformation.
Feel free to reach out to me if you want to talk about any of this.