In reading Psalm 119 (half of it) this morning, I quickly realized it is a great Psalm to read and pray your way thru it. Praying through Scripture isn’t as complicated as you may think…
- v5 “Oh that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees!” There’s a verse that has immediate “prayability” – ex. ‘Lord God today (let’s focus on one day at a time here!) let me be faithfully consistent in obeying you, in doing things that please you.’ It kinda goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway – In order to know more of how to live a life that pleases God, we have to know God’s word, read it daily, soak in it…but dare we think that just ‘obeying his decrees’ is what it’s all about. Obedience comes from our identity as children of God, we don’t obey in order to become children of God. Children of God are those that believe in whom God has sent – Jesus – our reconciler. In all things, in all situations…we never get a pass from obedience in glorifying God – that is our primary purpose – always.
- v6-7 show the blessings of obedience – we will ‘not be put to shame‘ and we will ‘praise you with an upright heart‘ – obedience protects us from running off the path and getting into sin and incurring shame. That harsh word we shouldn’t have said, that lustful thought we shouldn’t have let our minds dwell on – or much worse. Sin brings shame always – obedience to God brings praise with a clear, joyful, peaceful (upright) heart. Remember too, that when we do sin, there is forgiveness and grace because of Jesus – but may be avoid sin, and pursue truth.
We need the help of the Holy Spirit to (1) want to obey God’s word in the first place – may he renew our hearts to have the desire to follow him steadfastly and (2) the endurance and perseverance to do consistently and “steadfastly!” The Psalms encourage us to pray for these things, let’s press in.