God’s Nourishing, Challenging Truth

Psalm 119 is one of my favorites. It’s rich with truths to let sink deep into the marrow of my bones and beatings of my heart. Instead of sharing my own thoughts today, I challenge you to read through Psalm 119 in its entirety. Don’t set it aside or declare, “I’ve read it before” or “I don’t have time right now.” Invite God to nourish and challenge you with His truth.

And if you’re driving or needs your hands free for the next several minutes, simply click here and listen.

How happy are those whose way is blameless, who live according to the Lord’s instruction!
Happy are those who keep His decrees and seek Him with all their heart.
They do nothing wrong; they follow His ways.
You have commanded that Your precepts be diligently kept.
If only my ways were committed to keeping Your statutes!
Then I would not be ashamed when I think about all Your commands.
I will praise You with a sincere heart when I learn Your righteous judgments.
I will keep Your statutes; never abandon me.

How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping Your word.
10 I have sought You with all my heart; don’t let me wander from Your commands.
11 I have treasured Your word in my heart so that I may not sin against You.
12 Lord, may You be praised; teach me Your statutes.
13 With my lips I proclaim all the judgments from Your mouth.
14 I rejoice in the way revealed by Your decrees as much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on Your precepts and think about Your ways.
16 I will delight in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.

17 Deal generously with Your servant so that I might live; then I will keep Your word.
18 Open my eyes so that I may contemplate wonderful things from Your instruction.
19 I am a stranger on earth; do not hide Your commands from me.
20 I am continually overcome with longing for Your judgments.
21 You rebuke the proud, the ones under a curse, who wander from Your commands.
22 Take insult and contempt away from me, for I have kept Your decrees.
23 Though princes sit together speaking against me, Your servant will think about Your statutes;
24 Your decrees are my delight and my counselors.

25 My life is down in the dust; give me life through Your word.
26 I told You about my life, and You listened to me; teach me Your statutes.
27 Help me understand the meaning of Your precepts so that I can meditate on Your wonders.
28 I am weary from grief; strengthen me through Your word.
29 Keep me from the way of deceit and graciously give me Your instruction.
30 I have chosen the way of truth; I have set Your ordinances before me.
31 I cling to Your decrees; Lord, do not put me to shame.
32 I pursue the way of Your commands, for You broaden my understanding.

33 Teach me, Lord, the meaning of Your statutes, and I will always keep them.
34 Help me understand Your instruction, and I will obey it and follow it with all my heart.
35 Help me stay on the path of Your commands, for I take pleasure in it.
36 Turn my heart to Your decrees and not to material gain.
37 Turn my eyes from looking at what is worthless; give me life in Your ways.
38 Confirm what You said to Your servant, for it produces reverence for You.
39 Turn away the disgrace I dread; indeed, Your judgments are good.
40 How I long for Your precepts! Give me life through Your righteousness.

41 Let Your faithful love come to me, Lord, Your salvation, as You promised.
42 Then I can answer the one who taunts me, for I trust in Your word.
43 Never take the word of truth from my mouth, for I hope in Your judgments.
44 I will always obey Your instruction, forever and ever.
45 I will walk freely in an open place because I seek Your precepts.
46 I will speak of Your decrees before kings and not be ashamed.
47 I delight in Your commands, which I love.
48 I will lift up my hands to Your commands, which I love, and will meditate on Your statutes.

49 Remember Your word to Your servant; You have given me hope through it.
50 This is my comfort in my affliction: Your promise has given me life.
51 The arrogant constantly ridicule me, but I do not turn away from Your instruction.
52 Lord, I remember Your judgments from long ago and find comfort.
53 Rage seizes me because of the wicked who reject Your instruction.
54 Your statutes are the theme of my song during my earthly life.
55 Yahweh, I remember Your name in the night, and I obey Your instruction.
56 This is my practice: I obey Your precepts.

57 The Lord is my portion; I have promised to keep Your words.
58 I have sought Your favor with all my heart; be gracious to me according to Your promise.
59 I thought about my ways and turned my steps back to Your decrees.
60 I hurried, not hesitating to keep Your commands.
61 Though the ropes of the wicked were wrapped around me, I did not forget Your instruction.
62 I rise at midnight to thank You for Your righteous judgments.
63 I am a friend to all who fear You, to those who keep Your precepts.
64 Lord, the earth is filled with Your faithful love; teach me Your statutes.

65 Lord, You have treated Your servant well, just as You promised.
66 Teach me good judgment and discernment, for I rely on Your commands.
67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word.
68 You are good, and You do what is good; teach me Your statutes.
69 The arrogant have smeared me with lies, but I obey Your precepts with all my heart.
70 Their hearts are hard and insensitive, but I delight in Your instruction.
71 It was good for me to be afflicted so that I could learn Your statutes.
72 Instruction from Your lips is better for me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

73 Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding so that I can learn Your commands.
74 Those who fear You will see me and rejoice, for I put my hope in Your word.
75 I know, Lord, that Your judgments are just and that You have afflicted me fairly.
76 May Your faithful love comfort me as You promised Your servant.
77 May Your compassion come to me so that I may live, for Your instruction is my delight.
78 Let the arrogant be put to shame for slandering me with lies; I will meditate on Your precepts.
79 Let those who fear You, those who know Your decrees, turn to me.
80 May my heart be blameless regarding Your statutes so that I will not be put to shame.

81 I long for Your salvation; I put my hope in Your word.
82 My eyes grow weary looking for what You have promised; I ask, “When will You comfort me?”
83 Though I have become like a wineskin dried by smoke, I do not forget Your statutes.
84 How many days must Your servant wait? When will You execute judgment on my persecutors?
85 The arrogant have dug pits for me; they violate Your instruction.
86 All Your commands are true; people persecute me with lies—help me!
87 They almost ended my life on earth, but I did not abandon Your precepts.
88 Give me life in accordance with Your faithful love, and I will obey the decree You have spoken.

89 Lord, Your word is forever; it is firmly fixed in heaven.
90 Your faithfulness is for all generations; You established the earth, and it stands firm.
91 They stand today in accordance with Your judgments, for all things are Your servants.
92 If Your instruction had not been my delight, I would have died in my affliction.
93 I will never forget Your precepts, for You have given me life through them.
94 I am Yours; save me, for I have sought Your precepts.
95 The wicked hope to destroy me, but I contemplate Your decrees.
96 I have seen a limit to all perfection, but Your command is without limit.

97 How I love Your instruction! It is my meditation all day long.
98 Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are always with me.
99 I have more insight than all my teachers because Your decrees are my meditation.
100 I understand more than the elders because I obey Your precepts.
101 I have kept my feet from every evil path to follow Your word.
102 I have not turned from Your judgments, for You Yourself have instructed me.
103 How sweet Your word is to my taste—sweeter than honey in my mouth.
104 I gain understanding from Your precepts; therefore I hate every false way.

105 Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.
106 I have solemnly sworn to keep Your righteous judgments.
107 I am severely afflicted; Lord, give me life through Your word.
108 Lord, please accept my willing offerings of praise, and teach me Your judgments.
109 My life is constantly in danger, yet I do not forget Your instruction.
110 The wicked have set a trap for me, but I have not wandered from Your precepts.
111 I have Your decrees as a heritage forever; indeed, they are the joy of my heart.
112 I am resolved to obey Your statutes to the very end.

113 I hate those who are double-minded, but I love Your instruction.
114 You are my shelter and my shield; I put my hope in Your word.
115 Depart from me, you evil ones, so that I may obey my God’s commands.
116 Sustain me as You promised, and I will live; do not let me be ashamed of my hope.
117 Sustain me so that I can be safe and always be concerned about Your statutes.
118 You reject all who stray from Your statutes, for their deceit is a lie.
119 You remove all the wicked on earth as if they were dross; therefore, I love Your decrees.
120 I tremble in awe of You; I fear Your judgments.

121 I have done what is just and right; do not leave me to my oppressors.
122 Guarantee Your servant’s well-being; do not let the arrogant oppress me.
123 My eyes grow weary looking for Your salvation and for Your righteous promise.
124 Deal with Your servant based on Your faithful love; teach me Your statutes.
125 I am Your servant; give me understanding so that I may know Your decrees.
126 It is time for the Lord to act, for they have violated Your instruction.
127 Since I love Your commands more than gold, even the purest gold,
128 I carefully follow all Your precepts and hate every false way.

129 Your decrees are wonderful; therefore I obey them.
130 The revelation of Your words brings light and gives understanding to the inexperienced.
131 I open my mouth and pant because I long for Your commands.
132 Turn to me and be gracious to me, as is Your practice toward those who love Your name.
133 Make my steps steady through Your promise; don’t let any sin dominate me.
134 Redeem me from human oppression, and I will keep Your precepts.
135 Show favor to Your servant, and teach me Your statutes.
136 My eyes pour out streams of tears because people do not follow Your instruction.

137 You are righteous, Lord, and Your judgments are just.
138 The decrees You issue are righteous and altogether trustworthy.
139 My anger overwhelms me because my foes forget Your words.
140 Your word is completely pure, and Your servant loves it.
141 I am insignificant and despised, but I do not forget Your precepts.
142 Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Your instruction is true.
143 Trouble and distress have overtaken me, but Your commands are my delight.
144 Your decrees are righteous forever. Give me understanding, and I will live.

145 I call with all my heart; answer me, Lord. I will obey Your statutes.
146 I call to You; save me, and I will keep Your decrees.
147 I rise before dawn and cry out for help; I put my hope in Your word.
148 I am awake through each watch of the night to meditate on Your promise.
149 In keeping with Your faithful love, hear my voice. Lord, give me life in keeping with Your justice.
150 Those who pursue evil plans come near; they are far from Your instruction.
151 You are near, Lord, and all Your commands are true.
152 Long ago I learned from Your decrees that You have established them forever.

153 Consider my affliction and rescue me, for I have not forgotten Your instruction.
154 Defend my cause and redeem me; give me life as You promised.
155 Salvation is far from the wicked because they do not seek Your statutes.
156 Your compassions are many, Lord; give me life according to Your judgments.
157 My persecutors and foes are many. I have not turned from Your decrees.
158 I have seen the disloyal and feel disgust because they do not keep Your word.
159 Consider how I love Your precepts; Lord, give me life according to Your faithful love.
160 The entirety of Your word is truth, and all Your righteous judgments endure forever.

161 Princes have persecuted me without cause, but my heart fears only Your word.
162 I rejoice over Your promise like one who finds vast treasure.
163 I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love Your instruction.
164 I praise You seven times a day for Your righteous judgments.
165 Abundant peace belongs to those who love Your instruction; nothing makes them stumble.
166 Lord, I hope for Your salvation and carry out Your commands.
167 I obey Your decrees and love them greatly.
168 I obey Your precepts and decrees, for all my ways are before You.

169 Let my cry reach You, Lord; give me understanding according to Your word.
170 Let my plea reach You; rescue me according to Your promise.
171 My lips pour out praise, for You teach me Your statutes.
172 My tongue sings about Your promise, for all Your commands are righteous.
173 May Your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen Your precepts.
174 I long for Your salvation, Lord, and Your instruction is my delight.
175 Let me live, and I will praise You; may Your judgments help me.
176 I wander like a lost sheep; seek Your servant, for I do not forget Your commands.

Praying through the Psalms: The End Is Just the Beginning

prayingpsalmsimageAs our Praying through the Psalms series closes, it’s not an end as much as a beginning. My prayer has been for you to soak in God’s Word. To claim the truth He gives you about Himself and for your life. When we merely skip through the sections of Scripture we most want, we miss out on many things God has to say to us. When we’re at a loss for words for our prayers, or we’re in a rut, God’s Word is the best place to start. And that’s what we’ve done…started.

We haven’t prayed all the way through Psalms, but you can continue on your own. Or, grab a friend and commit to holding one another accountable as you pray through Scripture. Use the prayer tips I’ve provided along the way. Need a reminder? Simply type “prayer tip” in the search bar, and you’ll have at least a dozen ideas to dig into a growing prayer life.

We need God. I need God. You need God.

Keep talking with Him. Keep listening.

Praying through the Psalms: Psalm 77

prayingpsalmsimagePsalm 77

I cry aloud to God,
aloud to God, and He will hear me.
I sought the Lord in my day of trouble.
My hands were continually lifted up
all night long;
I refused to be comforted.
I think of God; I groan;
I meditate; my spirit becomes weak.Selah

You have kept me from closing my eyes;
I am troubled and cannot speak.
I consider days of old,
years long past.
At night I remember my music;
I meditate in my heart, and my spirit ponders.

“Will the Lord reject forever
and never again show favor?
Has His faithful love ceased forever?
Is His promise at an end for all generations?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has He in anger withheld His compassion?”Selah

10 So I say, “I am grieved
that the right hand of the Most High has changed.”
11 I will remember the Lord’s works;
yes, I will remember Your ancient wonders.
12 I will reflect on all You have done
and meditate on Your actions.

13 God, Your way is holy.
What god is great like God?
14 You are the God who works wonders;
You revealed Your strength among the peoples.
15 With power You redeemed Your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.Selah

16 The waters saw You, God.
The waters saw You; they trembled.
Even the depths shook.
17 The clouds poured down water.
The storm clouds thundered;
Your arrows flashed back and forth.
18 The sound of Your thunder was in the whirlwind;
lightning lit up the world.
The earth shook and quaked.
19 Your way went through the sea
and Your path through the great waters,
but Your footprints were unseen.
20 You led Your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Read Psalm 77 aloud.

What seems to get in the way, things that distract you or get you “stuck” as you read through the psalm?

What is God highlighting for you to focus upon?

Read through Psalm 77 again, this time, pausing to yield to God, praising who He is and how He provides and giving Him everything that might be holding you back in faith.

Praying through the Psalms: Psalm 76

prayingpsalmsimagePsalm 76

God is known in Judah;
His name is great in Israel.
His tent is in Salem,
His dwelling place in Zion.
There He shatters the bow’s flaming arrows,
the shield, the sword, and the weapons of war.Selah

You are resplendent and majestic
coming down from the mountains of prey.
The brave-hearted have been plundered;
they have slipped into their final sleep.
None of the warriors was able to lift a hand.
At Your rebuke, God of Jacob,
both chariot and horse lay still.

And You—You are to be feared.
When You are angry,
who can stand before You?
From heaven You pronounced judgment.
The earth feared and grew quiet
when God rose up to judge
and to save all the lowly of the earth.Selah
10 Even human wrath will praise You;
You will clothe Yourself
with their remaining wrath.

11 Make and keep your vows
to the Lord your God;
let all who are around Him bring tribute
to the awe-inspiring One.
12 He humbles the spirit of leaders;
He is feared by the kings of the earth.

Read Psalm 76 aloud.

What seems to get in the way, things that distract you or get you “stuck” as you read through the psalm?

What is God highlighting for you to focus upon?

Read through Psalm 76 again, this time, pausing to yield to God, praising who He is and how He provides and giving Him everything that might be holding you back in faith.

Praying through the Psalms: Psalm 75

prayingpsalmsimagePsalm 75

We give thanks to You, God;
we give thanks to You, for Your name is near.
People tell about Your wonderful works.

“When I choose a time,
I will judge fairly.
When the earth and all its inhabitants shake,
I am the One who steadies its pillars.Selah
I say to the boastful, ‘Do not boast,’
and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horn.
Do not lift up your horn against heaven
or speak arrogantly.’”

Exaltation does not come
from the east, the west, or the desert,
for God is the Judge:
He brings down one and exalts another.
For there is a cup in the Lord’s hand,
full of wine blended with spices, and He pours from it.
All the wicked of the earth will drink,
draining it to the dregs.

As for me, I will tell about Him forever;
I will sing praise to the God of Jacob.

10 “I will cut off all the horns of the wicked,
but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.”

Read Psalm 75 aloud.

What seems to get in the way, things that distract you or get you “stuck” as you read through the psalm?

What is God highlighting for you to focus upon?

Read through Psalm 75 again, this time, pausing to yield to God, praising who He is and how He provides and giving Him everything that might be holding you back in faith.

Praying through the Psalms: Psalm 74

prayingpsalmsimagePsalm 74

Why have You rejected us forever, God?
Why does Your anger burn
against the sheep of Your pasture?
Remember Your congregation,
which You purchased long ago
and redeemed as the tribe for Your own possession.
Remember Mount Zion where You dwell.
Make Your way to the everlasting ruins,
to all that the enemy has destroyed in the sanctuary.
Your adversaries roared in the meeting place
where You met with us.
They set up their emblems as signs.
It was like men in a thicket of trees,
wielding axes,
then smashing all the carvings
with hatchets and picks.
They set Your sanctuary on fire;
they utterly desecrated
the dwelling place of Your name.
They said in their hearts,
“Let us oppress them relentlessly.”
They burned down every place throughout the land
where God met with us.
There are no signs for us to see.
There is no longer a prophet.
And none of us knows how long this will last.
10 God, how long will the enemy mock?
Will the foe insult Your name forever?
11 Why do You hold back Your hand?
Stretch out Your right hand and destroy them!

12 God my King is from ancient times,
performing saving acts on the earth.
13 You divided the sea with Your strength;
You smashed the heads of the sea monsters in the waters;
14 You crushed the heads of Leviathan;
You fed him to the creatures of the desert.
15 You opened up springs and streams;
You dried up ever-flowing rivers.
16 The day is Yours, also the night;
You established the moon and the sun.
17 You set all the boundaries of the earth;
You made summer and winter.

18 Remember this: the enemy has mocked Yahweh,
and a foolish people has insulted Your name.
19 Do not give the life of Your dove to beasts;
do not forget the lives of Your poor people forever.
20 Consider the covenant,
for the dark places of the land are full of violence.
21 Do not let the oppressed turn away in shame;
let the poor and needy praise Your name.
22 Rise up, God, defend Your cause!
Remember the insults
that fools bring against You all day long.
23 Do not forget the clamor of Your adversaries,
the tumult of Your opponents that goes up constantly.

Read Psalm 74 aloud.

What seems to get in the way, things that distract you or get you “stuck” as you read through the psalm?

What is God highlighting for you to focus upon?

Read through Psalm 74 again, this time, pausing to yield to God, praising who He is and how He provides and giving Him everything that might be holding you back in faith.

Praying through the Psalms: Psalm 73

prayingpsalmsimagePsalm 73

God is indeed good to Israel,
to the pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet almost slipped;
my steps nearly went astray.
For I envied the arrogant;
I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

They have an easy time until they die,
and their bodies are well fed.
They are not in trouble like others;
they are not afflicted like most people.
Therefore, pride is their necklace,
and violence covers them like a garment.
Their eyes bulge out from fatness;
the imaginations of their hearts run wild.
They mock, and they speak maliciously;
they arrogantly threaten oppression.
They set their mouths against heaven,
and their tongues strut across the earth.
10 Therefore His people turn to them
and drink in their overflowing words.
11 The wicked say, “How can God know?
Does the Most High know everything?”
12 Look at them—the wicked!
They are always at ease,
and they increase their wealth.

13 Did I purify my heart
and wash my hands in innocence for nothing?
14 For I am afflicted all day long
and punished every morning.
15 If I had decided to say these things aloud,
I would have betrayed Your people.
16 When I tried to understand all this,
it seemed hopeless
17 until I entered God’s sanctuary.
Then I understood their destiny.
18 Indeed, You put them in slippery places;
You make them fall into ruin.
19 How suddenly they become a desolation!
They come to an end, swept away by terrors.
20 Like one waking from a dream,
Lord, when arising, You will despise their image.

21 When I became embittered
and my innermost being was wounded,
22 I was stupid and didn’t understand;
I was an unthinking animal toward You.
23 Yet I am always with You;
You hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with Your counsel,
and afterward You will take me up in glory.
25 Who do I have in heaven but You?
And I desire nothing on earth but You.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart,
my portion forever.
27 Those far from You will certainly perish;
You destroy all who are unfaithful to You.
28 But as for me, God’s presence is my good.
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
so I can tell about all You do.

Read Psalm 73 aloud.

What seems to get in the way, things that distract you or get you “stuck” as you read through the psalm?

What is God highlighting for you to focus upon?

Read through Psalm 73 again, this time, pausing to yield to God, praising who He is and how He provides and giving Him everything that might be holding you back in faith.