"In Jesus Name" - Day 17

In Pursuit

My bookshelves are lined with journals in every imaginable size and shape. Some are in three ring-binders, some leather bound and some covered in fancy fabric, each with a special beauty of its own. The pages are highlighted, tear-stained, scripted in longhand, scribbled in print and written in cursive. Some pages have thoughts written in the margins and other pages are empty, waiting for responses or words left unsaid. These journals are like dear, old friends ... friends who’ve kept secrets, laughed and cried with me, and believed the best even in the worst of times. These journals, like soldiers reporting for duty, retell battles of days past. Inside each is the unfolding story of my relationship and partnership with God.
Some of the greatest chronicles of prayer and worship are preserved forever in the Bible. Accounts of a man after God’s own heart, the Psalms are an up-close and personal look at David’s relationship and partnership with God. They are filled with both celebration and lament and detail the heights and depths of a man’s experiences as he seeks after the face and hand of God. We share in his battles, adversities and conversations with God. David’s psalms are transparent, raw and authentic. They include worship, passion, repentance and a pursuit of God.
The prayers of the prophets show us the heart of God in the quest of man, but David’s psalms reveal the heart of a man in quest of God. “O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1). His psalms also give us insight into a praying man. In Psalm 22:1, David cries out, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?” And just 21 verses later he declares, “You have answered me. I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will praise You” (Psalm 22:21–22). From these two verses we see how he begins crying out from a place of desperation and ends by victoriously declaring God’s praises! This should be a measuring rod for our own prayers.
For more than 3,000 years, the Psalms have been a source of great inspiration, strength, direction, comfort and counsel as God’s people pursue a relationship with a faithful, loving Father. Begin your personal journey afresh with a lifestyle of prayer mentored by the Psalms, echoed by Jesus and inspired by the Holy Spirit. As your own faithful prayer journals start to take shape, fill them with raw emotions and prayers to the Father. These journals that document your desperation and His declaration will be a testament to His glory.
Prayer is not eloquence, but earnestness; not the definition of helplessness, but the feeling of it; not figures of speech, but earnestness of soul.
~ Hannah More

Prayer

Father, thank You for giving me David as an example of how to write from the emptiness of my soul and the fullness of my spirit. Like David, You welcome and cherish our time together. Help me to see the beautiful tapestry of my life as I allow Your hand to move in and through me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Activation

  • Start a declaration journal by writing the Psalms and inserting your name, or the names of those you are praying for, into each verse. On one page, write what you are praying. On the other, write what God is saying in response. Move your journaling from desperation to declaration!
  • Write down your heartfelt cries, your deepest moments of worship, your times of repentance and your times of joy. And like the Psalms are for us, let them be something that you and future generations can go back through and see how the hand of God worked in your life.
  • Search out a psalm that reflects what you’re praying about. Are you fearful? Hopeful? Regretful? Shameful? Worshipful? Joyful? The possibilities are endless. Once you have found a psalm, begin praying it out loud. You will move from praying it in your mind to praying it from your heart.

Memory Verse

"If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them." Matthew 18:19–20 (NKJ)

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