Sometimes I read the Psalms and I get a little lost in them. My heart begins to wander beyond the words of the author on the page. I love the Psalms for their purity and the honesty in the struggle they often convey. They don’t always have rhyme or reason, but they do have a great deal of personality. You can connect with the language even if it isn’t yours.
That being said, sometimes when I’m praying or having my quiet time with the Lord, sometimes I get a little “stuck”. When this happens, I often reach for the Psalms and begin reading, first with my mind and then with my heart. As I begin by reading the words of another, I find that soon enough they become my own.
Let me clarify that I am not suggesting adding to the text of the Bible nor am I endorsing plagiarism in published form. What I am saying is that sometimes you can take what another wrote and discover that when you turn your own heart towards the Father, you’ll find a place of overflow. This is when the words on the page run out, but you still find yourself there pouring out more.
I encourage you to take a few moments with the Psalms today. Begin reading what you see and what you know and continue on in your own language of prayer. Today I sat down with Psalm 138. Below is what I found in the overflow.
God, I will praise You with my whole heart! I turn all of my affections towards You. You are the center in which all else revolves. May my breath be finely tuned to praise. Though I have heard of how good You are and I know of Your many names, Your word holds true and strong like a rock that will never be moved. You are loving and kind and true. I know this because I know You. You have always heard me. In a whisper or in a loud cry, You answered me and made me bold with strength and courage in my soul. You have been with me before. I have no reason to doubt You now. Your good nature has not changed. You have brought me from a place of hopelessness and shown me Your great plans. Though Your voice creates stars and oceans and brings judgement to my enemies, it still creates life in me. You know my name and You see me. You have never forgotten me. In fact, You will always perfect that which concerns me. You will hold me in the safe tension of Your love and mercy. I trust this to be true as I trust that You are who You say You are. I’ll sing Your praises my whole life long. My Father, I will choose to praise You.
– Katie Stansfield
I will praise You with my whole heart; before the gods I will sing praises to You. I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word above all Your name. In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul.
All the kings of the earth shall praise You, O Lord, when they hear the words of Your mouth. Yes, they shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord. Though the Lord is on high, yet He regards the lowly; but the proud He knows from afar.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me. The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.