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.
The great “omni” Psalm 139 is a powerful declaration of God’s omniscience (He is all knowing), omnipresence (He is ever present), and omnipotence (He is all powerful). Verses 1-6 declare his intimate knowledge of you – knowing where you sit and rise, your thoughts and actions, he is familiar with all your ways, and is protective and caring beyond comprehension. Verses 7-12 remind you that he’s with you everywhere – in this present world and in heaven for all eternity, and will offer his hand to guide you in darkness and in light. Verses 13-18 are demonstrative of his creative love for you – from the time you were in your mother’s womb where he knit you together and created your inmost being. All of this is worthy of your praise and adoration, for you are fearfully and wonderfully made and you are precious in his eyes…the vastness of his thoughts of you outnumber the grains of sand along the ocean’s edge. Praise the all-knowing, ever-present, all-powerful God.
Invite the Lord to search and know your heart, test your allegiance to him and quiet your anxious and fearful thoughts. And, if there is anything offensive to God in your heart, ask him to forgive you, remove it completely, and lead you in the everlasting way. Trust the One who knows you intimately to display his presence and power in and through you, for His glory, now and always. Amen and Amen. (Psalm 139)
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
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.