Psalm 139

My Bible memory for the month of June…Psalm 139. This is a great passage to meditate on during adoration in my prayer time. I hope to have it hidden deep in my heart by the end of June. Each day after I give my day, myself and all I have, desire, and plan to do to my blessed Jesus, I read thru the entire passage out loud, then ink out a word or phrase and read through it again. I do this for 5-15 minutes every morning before I read the daily Mass readings. My pie in the sky plan is to have one chapter of Sacred Scripture memorized each month.

Do you memorize Sacred Scripture? Share your best tips and favorite passages with me.

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Adore/Affirm

CAST  your burden on the Lordand he will sustain you;
he will never permit the righteous to be moved.  Psalm 55:22

CAST your anxieties upon the Lord, because He cares for you.  1 Peter 5:7

Commit 
Adore/Affirm
Supplication/Satisfaction
Trust

I’m still working on my prayer journal, and have come up with a simple(r) acronym that doesn’t take up as much space in the binder that is my prayer journal.

Part of praying is talking to God, and part of prayer is listening to Him speak to our hearts.   Since I last wrote about adoration, I have been thinking a lot about who God is, who He claims to be, His descriptive names and attributes, and how that affects me, His creation.  Looking back, I am realizing how much my little prayer journal system has changed, and yet, remains the same.  I find that by focusing on one or two attributes at a time, I can obey the instruction of Scripture to “ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name, and worship Him in splendor” (Ps 29:1,2).

Because prayer is a two-way street, I like to visualize what it looks like from God’s end.  Does He call me by name?  Does He look at and affirm my own attributes and character when He speaks back to me?  I think He does.

Isaiah 43:1 But now thus says the Lordhe who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.

Ps 103:14 ~ For he knows how we were made; he remembers that we are dust.

2 Cor 5:20 ~ Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.

Eph 2:6 ~ … raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

I find that focusing on what God says about me is a good way to keep a balanced and healthy view of myself.  Meditating on Who I am in Christ keeps me from one of two traps that I fall into when I focus on myself; that is either thinking too highly of myself, and becoming proud, or thinking too low of myself, and falling into despair.  Isn’t it a balancing act?

And just when we think we’ve arrived at humility, we’ve lost it to pride.

In my prayer journal, I added another A-word to my acronym, Affirmation, and started keeping a double-sided page to record my progress.  On the front, I list the attributes of God with their Scriptures, as I had been doing.  On the back side, I list the affirmations of who I am in Christ according to God’s Word revealed in Scripture. This helps me implement my newest, 2-fold habit of Ascribing the Lord’s glory to His name, and accepting the Affirmations of who I am in Christ, according to His word.  I really prefer to mine them myself, so, when I’m reading my Bible or listening to the Divine Office, and I come across one, I record it, right away on my Affirmations page.

If I get stuck, or am limited for time, or just need a quick reference, I go to my browser, and type in “who I am in Christ”.  WOW!!!!  There are treasure troves of Scriptures that have already been collected on this topic, it’s easy to get lost in them all.  I also still have my old alphabetized list of the names and attributes of God that I have collected (with my songs for worship and adoration on the back) that I also use as a personal resource.  By the end of the year, it will be fun to see how my collection has grown.  Maybe I’ll do a collage with it and post it here, who knows?

Creator of Heaven and Earth

Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts! Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all stars of light! Praise Him, highest heavens, And the waters that are above the heavens!  Let them praise the name of the LORD, For He commanded and they were created.  Psalm 148:2-5

From the beginning of time, You alone are the LORD You have made the heavens,
The heaven of heavens with all their host,
The earth and all that is on it, The seas and all that is in them You give life to all of them
You testified of yourself saying, “For My hand made all these things, Thus all these things came into being,”
“I am the LORD, and there is none else.
And the heavenly host bows down before You.
“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power;
for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”

Gen 1:1
Neh 9:6
Rev 4:11
Is 66:2
Is 45:18

ACT before you ASK

I’m working on a prayer journal system that will hopefully be a tool in keeping me organized and on task in my quiet time.  Right now, it’s a tool, but also a project, as I am in the process of tweaking it to make it function for me.  You might remember that last year, I began putting a little prayer journal together for the sake of memorizing the creed and rosary.  I did a series on prayer that included some of the insights the Lord gave me while putting it together, and I’m thinking this is going to be a similar series by the time we finish with it.

20140524-081414-29654093.jpgLast year, a dear friend sent me a little journal, which had remained empty and unused until last week.  I’ve put it to use as my Beta version, and when I pick it up, I remember her in my prayers.  (She is one that I thank God for in my Thanksgiving…as well as one I intercede for in my supplication) …but I’m getting ahead of myself.   By the way, I LOVE how God made this journal with sunflowers!  It’s like my prayer life has a theme…and seeing sunflowers reminds me to pray.  How great is He!?

I started putting my journal together by following the ACTS model of prayer, that is, Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication.  As I continued it kind of morphed into what I call ACT before you ASK.  I don’t know about you, but if I’m don’t deliberately make myself focus, my prayer time can sound whiny, and childish.  I do not want my prayer life to be marked by this.  I want my prayer time to be intentional, where I focus on the Lord and my heart is filled to overflowing with gratitude and praise for Him, and marked by faith and trust.

I divided my journal into six sections as such:

Adoration – Where I record the names and attributes of God that I collect as I go.
Contrition/Confession- Where I spend time in self-examination and confess the sins that the Holy Spirit reveals to my spirit.
Thanksgiving – Where I remember to thank the Lord for what He is accomplishing in my life.

Application – Where I record my God whispers…times when the rubber meets the road…those little (or big) things that jump out at me in my daily Bible reading, prayer, or personal interactions with others.
Supplication – Where I keep a record of people that I pray for on a regular basis.
Knowledge – Where I keep a record of portions of Scripture and Bible truths that I have committed to memory and know by heart.

My daily quiet time follows this model pretty closely, with my daily Bible reading fitting right between the two acronyms.  I think I’ll make a separate post for each of my sections so I can show you better how I put this system to work for me.  I haven’t completely made up my mind whether I will prefer a bound journal, like the one I’m using right now, or if I will eventually move to a 3 ring binder system.  I can see benefits and downsides to both, and I may eventually use a combination of both.  It is providing me with more opportunity to create, and draw, and color.  For now, my dividers are homemade, laminated bookmarks that fit the book.  Each divider has prompts that keep me on track, and the cool thing about them is, if I don’t want to take my whole journal with me, but need the prompts, I can remove them from the journal, put them in my Bible, or purse, or whatever I’m carrying, and tote them along with me to use as needed.

More to come…