Throughout this series we have joined some of our favorite biblical characters in the prayers they once prayed and which God has preserved for us in the Scriptures. As you ponder the variety of prayers from the Great Prayer Book, the Psalms, be enveloped by each word as if it was written directly to and for you…because in fact they were and are a gift from God for you. Praying the Scriptures in this way will bring health and vitality to your heart and soul, and great liberty to your life of prayer.
Where does your heart dwell most frequently in a typical day? Are you focused on remaining in a posture that leans toward God continually, day and night? Or, do you find yourself wandering away from the presence of God, lured into places where you don’t belong? It’s easy to forget the best location for the sake of our heart and soul, and let the influence of the world penetrate the very spaces where God alone seeks to reside. When we become soul lazy we tend to allow attitudes and their accompanying words fester and emerge…or, worse yet, we let them become actions that do not befit the follower of Christ. In Psalm 84, we are reminded that the best place for our soul is the dwelling place of God, the very court of the Lord, a home, a nest, a place near the altar, the safe and anointed house of God. it’s the opposite of the tent of the wicked, and it’s the most inviting place of loveliness for our soul to yearn for this side of heaven.
Join the psalmist in a pilgrimage of the heart and soul directly into the presence of the Lord. Find your rest, your intentionality, your place near the altar, so that the Lord Almighty, your King and your God may bless you for praising him and grant you the strength you need for the day’s journey. Make this your prayer too. (Psalm 84)
How lovely is your dwelling place,
My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.
Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty;
listen to me, God of Jacob.
Look on our shield, O God;
look with favor on your anointed one.
Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.
Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.
Behold the splendor of the Lord – Believe the promises of his love – Belong to those who unreservedly trust him – Become prayerful in all you are and do.