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Personalizing Scripture

By November 10, 2008 Uncategorized One Comment

Over on Hope Women’s blog, I posted my devotional on “Jesus Satisfies” from our bible study series at Thrive. The reflection exercise at the bottom asks you to personalize Psalm 103. I thought it might be helpful if I explained what that means to me and how I think it can help you connect with God. Personalizing scripture:
*keeps me focused
*reminds me of God’s promises
*allows me to internalize scripture, writing it on my heart
*comforts me because I know I’m listening to his voice, rather than the many others in my head that like to be heard
*points out places where I’m confused with His word
*presses me to understand him more

So let’s take a look at the first few verses of Psalm 103:
1 Bless the Lord, oh my soul. With all that is within me, bless His holy name.
2 Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and forget not his benefits:
3 Who pardons all your inquities,
who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
5 who satisfies your desires with good things,
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

When you don’t know what to pray or how to pray, a few verses like this are a wonderful guide. So here’s a prayer from these verses that I’ve personalized to God from myself.

1 Lord, I love you and I’m so thankful for you and all that you are.
I want to bless you with my heart, mind and actions, in everything.
2 Lord, you are mighty and strong and you do amazing things.
3 You have forgiven all my sins, the ones I know about and the ones I don’t. Jesus, by your sacrifice you have satisfied the punishment I so deserve for my wayward heart. You forgave me, Lord, but you didn’t stop there.
4 You have healed my brokenness, in spirit and in mind and in body. I was nothing without you Jesus. I was beyond hopeless and you came and rescued me from that place with your love. How often I return to that pit, Lord. It’s a familiar place with old friends, like pride, anger, jealousy and self-glorification.
When I return to that place, you rescue me again and again, because you are a compassionate God who loves me deeply. How could I not praise your name for all of the ways you’ve saved me from my own self?
5 As if that’s enough, you heap blessings upon me, and you are loving enough to give me good things, not just the things I think I should have, but the things that you know are good for me. You know me better than I know myself, and the things you bring renew my love for you and allow me to soar. Your love is amazing!
Amen.

Obviously, I got on a roll and amplified the verses more as I went along. As you practice, it gets easier to add to the words of scripture and really connect with the way the scripture can speak right into your own life. Give it a try. Here’s a few other Psalms that are good places to start:
Psalm 8
Psalm 16
Psalm 27
Psalm 51
Psalm 62
Psalm 121
Psalm 131

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