On the days when I awaken and don’t feel a strong sense of God’s presence, I love to focus on the Psalms. It opens the door of my heart to prayer and invites the Holy Spirit to fill me. I often journal these prayers, so that I can re-read them throughout the day, or even years from now. It focuses my heart to remember and give thanks for all of the things God has done.
For example, excerpts from Psalms 16 read:
Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust. O my soul, you have said to the Lord, “You are my Lord, My goodness is nothing apart from You.”
Their sorrows shall be multiplied who hasten after another god; Their drink offerings of blood I will not offer, nor take up their names on my lips.
O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot. I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; my heart also instructs me in the night seasons.
I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope.
You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalms 16:1-2, 4-5, 7-9, 11
And this is the prayer I wrote as I prayed:
Oh Lord, keep and protect me, for in YOU I have found my greatest refuge; in YOU do I put my greatest trust; and in YOU do I hide myself from all that frightens me.
YOU are my Lord; I have no good beside or beyond You, for all my righteousness is as filthy rags. Oh Lord, I know there is no god like You, and when I subject myself to the gods of worry, fear, pride, and fleshly desires, remind me that I am just multiplying my sorrows and—draw me back to You, Oh Lord.
Oh Lord, YOU are my all in all! May I choose you above all else, for I know You will hold my thoughts and my path steady; You will light my path and keep me on the path of peace. You will help me lead others on Your path so we will have a heritage of your goodness—now and for eternity.
I will bless You, Oh Lord, for YOU have given me wisdom and have been the instructor of my heart—even when the darkness crowds in. YOU are my light and navigator in the storm clouds. Thus, I will make you the center of all I do. I will set my mind upon You at dawn and dusk, so I will not be moved from the way YOU have planned for me.
Because of YOU, Oh Lord, my heart is glad and rejoices. Even my body rests more confidently for YOU have secured my eternal safety and will never abandon me. Thank you, Oh Lord, for showing me the path of life and the fullness of Your joy. Teach me to love You—like you love me!
In Jesus’ blessed name, Amen.
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