We all are drawn to people who are real and authentic. We are intrigued with relatable personalities who may be leaders, stars, friends, and neighbors. This culture seems to favor keeping it real.
David, who went from shepherd boy, to giant slayer, to king, wrote the book of Psalms where he expresses relatable, authentic emotions of failures and triumphs, sadness and joy, turmoil and strength, etc.
I try to “keep it real”, like David, using the Psalms in prayer. Beginning my personal prayer time this way has become essential, instead of starting with pretenses, or wants and needs. Just praising God for who he is–acknowledging that he is God and I am not.
I personalize the Psalms, or a portion thereof, by praying/journaling it in my first person. For example, today I read Psalms 107 and personalized verses 1-9a. Below is The Message version and below that is my personalized prayer version.
Psalms 107:1-9a The Message:
Oh, thank God—he’s so good! His love never runs out.
All of you set free by God, tell the world!
Tell how he freed you from oppression,
Then rounded you up from all over the place,
from the four winds, from the seven seas.
Some of you wandered for years in the desert,
looking but not finding a good place to live,
Half-starved and parched with thirst,
staggering and stumbling, on the brink of exhaustion.
Then, in your desperate condition, you called out to God.
He got you out in the nick of time;
He put your feet on a wonderful road
that took you straight to a good place to live.
So thank God for his marvelous love,
for his miracle mercy to the children he loves.
My personalized, first person, prayer version (along with some visuals):
O God, You are so good. Your love never runs out.
Your love waters me like a garden hose.
I have been set free by You, to tell the world!
You freed me from oppressions from the enemy
to do good things in your name.
Though I have wandered in a spiritual desert,
looking but not finding a place of comfort,
half-hearted and parched with spiritual thirst,
staggering and stumbling on the brink of exhaustion.
In my desperate position, I called out to you and
you got me out in the nick of time.
From this time of personal praise to God, I move into a personal time of confession asking God to show me any sin in my life. He is always faithful to show with correction and grace.
I then move into a time of personal thanksgiving where I thank God for small and large, alike. I often use those thanksgivings in my Thankful Thursday posts, where I’ve been counting to One Thousand Gifts.
And last, I approach God through prayer for needs, prayers for others, or situations I or those I love are facing, etc.
I will be sharing a Psalm that stood out to me during the week on Sundays, calling it Sunday Psalms. I hope it encourages you to keep it real with God, like David did.