Blessed are You, Adonai our God, King of the Universe.

Israelites of Old, and Me.

*Let's Journal Together*   With these posts, I start with a Scripture passage, then change the pronouns in order to pray directly to the Lord while we read it.  This is one method of what is called praying the Scriptures.  It simply means we are using the words of Scripture AS our prayer.  Also, I've added bold type to a few key words, and some ellipsis (the dot, dot, dots) to help slow down as we read it.  Reading slowly is so, so important!  We simply cannot read the Bible just like we read everything else.  There will be an entire post on that topic soon.  Finally, I've added some direction for when to do a full stop as: {reflect. listen. journal.}.  Sometimes there are different words here though.

Reflect: means firstly, to stop reading.  Full stop.  Think about what you just read.  Re-say it in your head to process it. 

Listen: means firstly, to sit quietly.  The Holy Spirit may bring thoughts to your mind about that section.  But, they may not be thoughts in words.  Frequently, they can be thoughts in images or a scene of some kind. Follow those images and see where they go. It's my personal belief that the thoughts I have about the passage *while I'm listening*... are likely from the Holy Spirit. If I'm focused and thinking about the passage, I take all thoughts that some to mind seriously.  If I suddenly start thinking about my grocery list, how tired I am, or wonder what my kids are up to, I stop and redirect myself back to the passage.  

Journal. Write something: your reflections as you processed the passage, what your thoughts were while you were listening.  You could write prayers, poems, or hymns. Draw what image you saw.  Or write out in words what you saw or what you felt. 

My vision for these posts is to give guidance to the act of praying, slowly reading, and journaling your way through a passage.  Try it and let me know what you think.  I'm open to feedback because things often make sense in my head, but they may not translate well to others.  So, do share your thoughts on these.

Psalm 103

I praise You LORD!
I give thanks to You LORD, for You are good!
    Your faithful love endures forever.
Who can list the glorious miracles of the LORD?
    Who can ever praise You enough?
{reflect. listen. journal.}

There is joy for those who deal justly with others
    and always do what is right.
Remember me, LORD, when you show favor to your people;
    come near and rescue me.
Let me share in the prosperity of your chosen ones.
    Let me rejoice in the joy of your people;
    let me praise you with those… who are your heritage.
{reflect. listen. journal.}

But...Oh Lord...

Like our ancestors, we have sinned.
Like the people of old, I have sinned.
    I have done wrong! I have acted wickedly!
Like Your people in Egypt…
    who were not impressed by Your miraculous deeds.
{reflect. listen. journal.}

Your people... soon forgot Your many acts of kindness to them.
    Instead, they rebelled against You at the Red Sea. 
Even so, You saved them—
    to defend the honor of Your name
    and to demonstrate Your mighty power.
You commanded the Red Sea to dry up.
    You led Israel across the sea as if it were a desert.
So You rescued them from their enemies
    and redeemed them from their foes.
{reflect. listen. journal.}

Again and again(!...) You rescued them,
    but they chose to rebel against You,
    and they were finally destroyed... by their sin.
Even so(!), You pitied them in their distress
    and listened to their cries.
You remembered Your covenant with them
    and relented because of Your unfailing love.
{reflect. listen. journal.}

I Praise You LORD, the God of Israel,
    who lives from everlasting to everlasting!
Let all the people say, “Amen!” 
{reflect. worship. journal.}

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation.  Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188.  All rights reserved.

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