When you open your Bible, how do you read it? This isn’t a rhetorical question, but one to really think about because people read God’s Word with different methods.
Do you read slowly, taking in verse by verse? Do you read a whole chapter quickly, going back to notice the details? Or maybe you listen to an audio version? (I love the YouVersion app because I can listen to scripture while driving or exercising.)
Even though there are lots of ways to read the Bible, we read it for one main reason: God’s Word is meant to dwell in us. Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” and Psalm 119:105 says, “Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
One fresh way you can read God’s Word is to put it in your own words as a prayer so you can understand it and pray it more personally. So we’re going to try something new today! However you read the Bible (and even if you’ve never read the Bible on your own) we’re going to pray a version of Psalm 40. This one is written in my words, but at some point, I encourage you to write your own version or pick another Psalm that’s meaningful to you.
Try to read slowly. Pause at each line. Talk to God, and listen for his love as he speaks back to you.
Wherever you go today, may God’s Word dwell in you richly as you remember:
He is your Rescuer.
Oh God, I remember my worst day. I was crying.
I had dug myself into a dark, nasty hole and thought I was lost to the world, thought I was a goner, cold and alone.
But something inside me told me to wait.
And then. YOU.
You heard my cries for help. You were the one who listened. You rescued me, pulled me out of the darkness and put me on high ground. Solid ground.
I had to sing!
So every day I sing, singing the new songs you give me like forever praise to my God. I will sing so that people see you. I will sing so people put their trust in you.
It’s a gift when we put our faith in you instead of our celebrities, our fame, our popularity and our idols. It’s a gift to be humbled by the ways you provide for us.
I trust you because you are a God of wonders, planning wonderful things for me and the whole world. I can’t even name all of them because they’re too many to count!
I thought you wanted my money. But it turns out that you want my heart.
You hide your Word in my heart, and your Spirit bends my body in obedience, listening to your voice and following your lead.
I go to church, I go to chapel, and I get together with all my friends and family to GET LOUD about you. I want to tell everyone about your loyalty and your salvation. I don’t keep your love a secret from anyone.
Don’t hold back forgiveness, God. I’m surrounded by thick weeds of problems, and my sin tangles me when I try to run away. I need your love and truth to free me because my heart keeps giving up.
Run to me fast and rescue me, God. Confuse my enemies and show them that you are in control. They want the worst for me. They laugh at me. They’ll get their reward in embarrassment.
But everyone who looks for you is saved.
Everyone who laughs and smiles because of you is saved. They will worship you, lifting up your name above all else!
When I need you, remember me. You are my Rescuer.
God, please don’t wait any longer.
Check out U2’s “40” based on Psalm 40.