Praying Scripture: Psalm 119:1-8 א ALEPH

This morning as I woke up, God put it on my heart to set aside my planned reading in Jeremiah and to write a prayer through a Psalm. I hadn’t realized that it was the 31st, when my Psalm reading for the day would be Psalm 119. (I often include Psalm 119 on months with 31 days instead of it’s “normal” place on the 29th of the month with 29, 59, 89, 119, 149.) Instead of praying through the entirety of Psalm 119 (the longest Psalm/Chapter in the Bible, which is divided into subsections going through the Hebrew alphabet), though that would also be great, I would like to focus on just one section to get the Psalm started.


1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way,

  • Oh Lord, I see the word “undefiled” and my sin flashes before me. My selfishness, my quick tongue, my lusts, my fears from lack of faith, my self reliance.
  • Lord, I pray that you would help me not to be self reliant, but more and more reliant on God. Our culture emphasizes to be self-reliant and for children to grow to be self-reliant. Instead, help me to grow into true maturity of reliance on you.
  • Lord, on my own I cannot be “undefiled”. I may be able to put on a show, and even to fool myself, but only you can give a clean heart and a new mind. Only you can give me a heart for you. Lord, I pray that you would search me and know me and help me to see any wicked way in me. Only by your Spirit can I change. I pray that you would bring this change in me.

Who walk in the law of the Lord!

  • In this is blessing, to be undefiled and to walk in the law of the Lord. Help me to delight in your law, your word, your commands, your precepts, your testimonies, your statutes. Lord give me a heart that can never have enough. That is always hungry for your word. That instead of having my plans for the day and having time reading your word as an activity before the others begin, Lord help my highest delight be to have time to meditate on your Word and be quiet before you. Help that to be the primary activity of my day and my delight and then all other activities, conversations, and thoughts to flow from that time as an extension of it.
  • What blessing! What blessing would this bring to my life!?!

2 Blessed are those who keep His testimonies,
Who seek Him with the whole heart!

  • My whole heart. My heart is so divided. I am already thinking about my work and worries, my plans and productivity for today. What needs to be done for this? How will I handle that? This is what goes through my mind as I read your word. Lord, help me to seek you with my whole heart! This world and all it’s cares are passing away, and yet I live so much for them. Lord help me to seek you with my whole heart!

3 They also do no iniquity;
They walk in His ways.

  • I look at my life and I cringe. “do no iniquity”. Lord, perhaps there is a differentiation between “iniquity” and “sin”, but either way, I know that I fall far short. My thoughts are of iniquity and my actions naturally pour from there. Lord, I pray that you would first give me a pure heart and a clean mind, and that from a constant focus on you, my thoughts and actions would flow with righteousness instead of iniquity. Help me to grow to where walking in your ways becomes my habit and delight instead of plotting my own course.
  • Lord, help me to be a repenter, for this to be a distinguishing characteristic of my life. You have said that when we confess our sins, when we repent, you purify us from all forgive us our sins and purify us from all iniquity. Having no iniquity is not something I can do. It is only something that you can gift.

4 You have commanded us
To keep Your precepts diligently.

  • Praying your word is so convicting. It’s like when I see my guilt, it continues to throw salt on that wound. Lord, thank you for this persistence. It does not let me simply move on and forget, though I am still so prone to move on and forget….
  • Lord, you have “commanded us”. The Creator, Sustainer, King of all of Creation “commands us”, and yet that command is so often as nothing before me.
  • I am guilty and deserving of wrath and judgment. Lord, help me to keep your precepts diligently. By the self-control that the Spirit gives, not by my own strength, which is impossible.

5 Oh, that my ways were directed
To keep Your statutes!

  • “Oh, that my ways were directed to keep your statutes!” This echoes my cry. “Oh, that my ways…” Lord, I need you to direct my ways.

6 Then I would not be ashamed,
When I look into all Your commandments.

  • I live in so much shame, so much fear, so much uncertainty. I feel so inadequate, not knowing what to do or how to do it.
  • How different would I be if I “look into all Your commandments”? How would this grounding in your word change my life, my heart, my confidence and understanding? It wouldn’t be dependent on me. Like stated before, it would be by my being more dependent, more dependent on your Word, your leading, your strength.

7 I will praise You with uprightness of heart,

  • Oh, for joy! To truly be able to praise you with uprightness of heart! To not be so consumed with my own glory and things of this world, but with uprightness of heart, meditating on you and your word. Walking by the power of your spirit. Oh for joy! Lord, give me a pure heart and a new mind! Only you can do this!

When I learn Your righteous judgments.

  • This morning, you have been leading me to just a glimpse of your righteous judgments. Lord help me not just to hear, but to “learn”. Help this to work it’s way into my life, that my life would be guided, corrected and freed by your righteous judgments. Lord, give me more dependence on you!

8 I will keep Your statutes;

  • Lord, may this be true! May this be true!

Oh, do not forsake me utterly!

  • You have promised to always be with and never forsake your children. Lord, search my heart. Help me not to be deceived by the family I grew up in, the church I am in, the Bible studies I join. Help me not to be deceived by the outward appearance, but to test my heart. Am I walking with you? Am I your child? Lord, call me to yourself. Call me ever deeper into you. Help me to be increasingly connected to you.
  • Thank you that you are faithful, even when I am faithless!

What a joy to pray through your word. To slow down from my reading and to pray through Your Word! Lord, help me to be quiet before you. Help me to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. Help me to not just be a hearer of the Word, but a doer also. Help me to have faith and not to doubt. Help me to be grounded in your word, to be steady in my word, deed and thought. Lord, help me to not be self-sufficient, but increasingly God dependent.

Thank you for this time in your Word!

In the name of Jesus, the Word of God, and our redeemer, who is always with us and never forsakes us!

Amen! Let it be so!

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