READ: Psalm 12-13
OUT LOUD: Today we’re going to do something a little different. I borrowed the idea from a pastor named Eugene Peterson. To start: Reread Psalm 13, but read it out loud this time. Get into character. Put yourself in the position of David as he was writing & praying these words. Read the passage with passion, and allow yourself to experience the shift in emotion.
THINK: As you hear David’s desire for God’s attention, be aware of how you feel similarly. Search you awareness of what you want or need from God until you have identified and named that desire. Desiring something practical and applicable to every day life – like a good grade on your upcoming finals – is okay. But stop for a second and try to identify the deeper desire behind that. Maybe that desire can be summed up in a single word like significance or maybe in a phrase like to know that I am loved no matter what.
Now think about what characteristic or name for God is most meaningful to you in light of the desire you just pinpointed. For example, if your deep desire is to be delivered from a difficult circumstance, maybe God’s power is most meaningful to you – perhaps you’ll think of him as the Deliverer or the Almighty One. If your deep desire is that God would soothe your hurts maybe his love and compassion jump out – perhaps you can identify him as Daddy.
PRAY: Consider that God is inviting you – right now – to express your deepest desires to him. Be honest and don’t bother beating around the bush. Combine your deep desire with the name you thought about for God, and come up with a short one-sentence prayer like “Powerful One, give me justice.” Spend a couple of minutes praying this prayer – simply repeating it to God and knowing that he hears you.
LIVE: Throughout your day, pray this phrase often. As you go through the regular tasks of life, pray it as you think about it. And then wait for God’s response. Remember: Praying it repeatedly isn’t what gets a response from God – he responds even if we pray it only once – but praying it repeatedly and keeping it on the forefront of our minds allows God to work powerfully in us and allows us to be more conscious of his response.