A thoughtful prayer

” Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

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23 thoughts on “A thoughtful prayer

  1. In our morning service, today, Gary expounded on the narrative in Genesis wherein was the description of how and when God created Adam. Gary said that out of a free will, granted by our Creator, man made a bad decision…a bad choice. Adam and Eve chose to sin in collusion with the serpent. But, nonetheless, God still held them responsible for their mistake (sin) and even now God holds us responsible for our choices. And even though the “fall” occurred and we are flawed, we still are responsible for our words, deeds and actions. And Sara said that we can choose, every moment, to do the right thing, to NOT sin, to make a right choice, even though, like Paul says, there remains a sin attitude in the flesh. Yet, because we are learning to know God, because we are born-again of His Spirit through the passion, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, we get to choose and are free to choose to follow the Word of God or to sin….with the concomitant consequences of either choice.
    So in the Scripture posted above, to me it means….Yes, Lord. You do know my heart….my flesh is weak and when I give into it, I sin, even though I have every excuse in the book. It is still sin. So when YOU search my heart, and we know that YOU do, if there is anything in my heart,( which we learned at the RETREAT…”DESIGNS OF ONE’S HEART”)…the anxious thoughts in my mind of unbelief, fear, rebellion drain into my heart and come out the mouth. So, Lord, I confess my offenses and misgivings and sins and ask forgiveness. Lead me in the way everlasting…the Way the Truth and the Life.
    I know that Jesus is coming soon. May we all repent of our thoughts and wayward deeds and perverse words, seek forgiveness and walk in paths of righteousness…THE WAY….everlasting

  2. Read with me the footnotes for Psalm 139: 23-24. “David asked God to search for sin and point it out, even to the level of testing his thoughts. This is exploratory surgery for sin. How are we to recognize sin unless God points it out? Then, when God shows us, we can repent and be forgiven. Make this verse your prayer. If you ask the Lord to search your heart and your thoughts and to reveal your sin, you will be continuing on ‘the path of everlasting life’.” I sure want to be continuing on the path of everlasting life, don’t you?

  3. Needles, you asked, “…don’t you?” Better think about this before I answer because God might use someone on this blog to show me accountability. Much like a writer on CF’s asked her? Or a lunch buddy asked me? Sometimes hard question show a sin of omission or other flaws.

    Chris O, a friend of ours, had lunch with our church group on Sunday. He had attended his local church, Lutheran. He was sharing the Pastor’s message on the benefits of fellowship and friendship. And, there were many. We all got excited about all those good benefits that were Biblical until Chris said, “the bottom line join a small group in your local church and be accountable….”

    This prayer from David in Psalm 139:23-24 started to blur in my mind. He prayed, “offensive ways….” That is one powerful knockout word/phrase. I would tell others how to or how I do, etc. and not be accountable to God and man. Lots of questions popping in my mind right about now.

    Needles, I will have to think on this a little more!

  4. I think it’s a catch-22. Be searched now and have to account or account later to God when maybe their is no more chance to change.

    “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” 2 Cor 5:10
    “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:12-13

  5. Back to Needles, “don’t you?’ I have been thinking about this question as related to our scripture prayer and having some discussions with friends and family. Today, I awoke with this wonderful thought from God’s word…”In the morning, O Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation” (Psalm 5:3, NIV)

    I sure enjoy this benefit and privilege, don’t you? We know that God said, David was a man after His own heart. Yet, he failed, his sins were exposed, he was severely mistreated by his family. But, he knew God was there for Him when he cried out and that was every morning, daily, often, seemly constantly.

    My answer after some thought and soul searching is, Yes, I do want to continue on the path of everlasting life! I do ask the Lord to search my heart and my thoughts and to reveal my sin. I ask Him for forgiveness, make them right, and remain in my place of blessings as I journey each day. What a mighty privilege that has been afforded me to serve such a Mighty God and recognize a mighty Cross.

  6. In a recent teaching, Gary challenged us to take a Psalm a day and dissect it, meditating on it to receive and understand what the Word of God is saying in each Psalm. In Psalm 19, my study for today, David speaks of the Heavens’ silent proclamation of the Glory of God’s splendor in all His majesty as Creator of the Heavens and the earth. And I see it with my own eyes.
    It then says that the Word, the Law of the Lord is perfect and this is what it does. it restores the whole person; And it makes wise the simple one. PTL!! His precepts rejoice the heart and His commands enlighten the eyes and His righteous decrees, His commandments and directives in His Word and our reverential fear of the Lord is clean (pure) and lasts forever… better than gold and sweeter than honey, are they!!
    This part I absolutely love and cherish for this day. Verse 11 says, all these precepts and commandments and directives which are better than gold and sweeter than honey do the following: they warn me, remind me, illumine me, instruct me and then….if I Keep His instructions, whether they come directly as I read the Word or from godly wisdom of those He sends to counsel me, THEY REWARD ME!
    Verse 12 says that I Can’t always discern my lapses and errors, so I ask the Lord to clear me from hidden, unconscious faults, keep me from PRESUMPTUOUS sins and don’t let them gain dominion over me so that I can be blameless and innocent of great transgression, before Him.
    That has been my complaint to the Lord; unconscious and hidden faults that I do not rightly discern. They are still sin and error and the only way to overcome them is to keep meditating on His word and studying it and having faith that as I show myself a good workman of the word these things will be illumined to me and I can and WILL avoid these pitfalls, the sins that so easily beset me.
    The Last verse is oh, so comforting: Let the words I speak and the thoughts I think and what I hold in my Heart be acceptable to YOU my God and Rock of my salvation. I do so want to please and bring joy to You, my Savior.
    Thank You, Lord for Your comforting and instructive Word. I needed this for this time in my life and You are forever faithful and faithful forever, Amen.

  7. During the retreat we learned that what happens in the mind is pumped out by the mouth by the heart. Our heart exposes all those thoughts of the mind – good or bad. If we do not have right thinking, we will be exposed. If we are in a small group that cares about our spiritual health of the mind we will be exposed and held accountable. Those of us who desire to have the mind of Christ want that so much. We don’t want the mind of anxious, nervous thoughts that go around and around. Sara gave me a verse yesterday to research out. It was Phillippians 2: 3 – 11. When researching the web these are some direct quotes on that subject. When we have “the mind of Christ” we have His views, His feelings, and His temperament and we are influenced by His Spirit. When Jesus came “he emptied himself of his glory, position and power, became a slave for the service of others and finally died on the cross for the sake of others. Paul makes the contrast between the ways of human beings and the ways of God. Human beings try to climb up to heaven; they want to be like God, standing on the shoulders of fellow human beings and pursuing their ambition at others’ expense.” Articles go on to say that GOD highly exalted Him and gave him great reward and position due to his servitude – “, his humiliation was his glorification, his death on the cross was his exaltation, becoming a slave was his kingship.” In another article it reads,
    “The mind of Christ reveals an attitude of self-emptying and humility so profound that He would empty Himself “taking the form of a bond-servant and being made in the likeness of men” and give Himself a ransom for sin. “Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death.”

    When reading Spurgeon’s book I visualized that Jesus stepped down from heaven to the muck of swarming sin (just like the oil in the Gulf) and those who called out Savior, Lord I have sinned he took their sin and nailed it to the cross so they the sinner could be with Him in heaven. Do we take the sin down and place it in our brain again or do we walk free with Jesus’s mind/thoughts in ours?

    The bible says to renew your mind daily. Here are a few promises to pray and hold on to. I hold on to them and hope you will too.

    Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12: 2 ESV

    Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4: 8 ESV

    Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27

    For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6

    You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds – Ephesians 4:22-23

  8. Since the review books it as a liberating movie, I guess the Christians who want to be liberated through this kind of self-fulfillment will be sitting there eating popcorn. The Christians who seek fulfillment by losing their self-lives and finding their life in Christ will be praying the above prayer and not eating popcorn on the front row.
    “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? “Matt 16:24-26

  9. “Jesus Christ‎’ God, take a hammer to my pride, crack open the hard and ugly to reveal your gentle beauty within me.” Mark Brown, Australia

  10. I’ve thought about your initial comment, to my question…”don’t you?” Yes, it sure is hard when we are made accountable or we see our ugly sinful nature, but we must strive to be on the path of everlasting life….if not, then what path are we on? I’m with you on this last comment….”take a hammer to my pride, crack open the hard and ugly to reveal your gentle beauty within me.” We ARE made in His image.

  11. I am so glad that God loves me enough to spend so much time on me. Love me, adore me and encourage me while correcting me. He is a perfect parent. It is so hard to imagine that He desires my time with Him. Loves for ME to SING to Him, pray to him and talk with Him. What a thought!

  12. Psalms 139:1-4 “O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. 2 You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. 3 You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. 4 You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.”. As I read this, I think about how wonderfully amazing God really is. He knows the words that come out of my mouth before I know what I’m going to say. Psalms 139:16-17 “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!”. Just to think that every day of my life was recorded, every moment before the day had passed. Every moment. Was I doing something for God in that moment or did I have fleshly evil in my mind and heart in that moment.Will I do better tomorrow or will that moment be wasted. What are God’s thoughts about me. Is He happy with the days and moments He has allowed me to have or do my days and moments bring Him saddness. Do I score more points for God or for Satan. Help me Lord to handle my days and moments with care and not carelessness. 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”. When God points out our sinful minds and our sinful hearts to us and He cleanses our sinful minds and hearts we start seeing in a different light. We have a mind and a heart like Christ. During this time we are lead along the path of everlasting life. We can not have everlasting life with a mind and heart full of flesh and sin. God hates sin. He will not tolerate it. I too want the Lord to point out anything that offends Him in me so that I will be allowed to walk along the path of everlasting life. I want every moment, every day of my life to give the Lord pleasing thoughts. I know I will fall short some days but I can not use this as an excuse or a crutch. I must get up brush myself off and continue to strive for excellence.I agree God is the perfect parent and I want Him to fix the imperfect sinful me.

  13. CF, looks like God knows more about me than I want Him or others to know. Do you think the reason we do and say dumb things, lies, etc so many times is because God knows they are in our thoughts and hanging around and taking up space in our hearts? Therefore, he takes a swift broom and sweeps them out and up through the garbage mouth just to show me how much dust and how many dust balls are playing soft ball in my heart and mind.

    My husband always says to me, “Know God and You will know yourself!” First, it sounded good but know I am rethinking because I am shrinking. And, that is not dress or shoe size but ‘love me’ size. EEERRIEEE! Is that a word?

  14. I wonder in ‘test and know my anxious thoughts’ why God singles out his type of thought..it must be important not to have them in the mind or heart.
    He does say in Luke 12:29 not to have an anxious mind.
    And in Phillipians 4:6-7 he tells us how to counter it: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

  15. HELP!! Where can I hide? I thought maybe if I dressed up a little bit and acted nice that it would be overlooked about what comes out of my mouth. I guess you can fool some of the people some of the time but you can’t fool God.
    “Where can I run from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend up into Heaven You are there. If I make my bed in Sheol, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell on the far side of the sea….even there….there You are, GOD. (Ps. 139) I am learning that it doesn’t matter how many people are “charmed” by a person…..It’s what’s up front in my mouth that counts. Eventually it pops out….shocking even me, sometimes. Much more offending the hearer of misappropriated jargon or should I say untimely or inappropriate to the moment remarks.
    Grieving the Spirit is a grievous thing.

  16. The Holy Spirit scans hearts and minds much like my computer security sytem scans for errors, etc. and when He detects an area that needs clean up He brings it to attention for a fix. I am grateful for thorough searches.

  17. MG, your thoughts about dress up and act nice and mouth….Yeap, I imagine more than not agree with you. I had a vivid picture of my mouth while wearing my new linen white shirt. I ate pizza with lots of sauce and then I leave Dominions and happily enjoy my next stop at a coffee shop. Whoops, I see sunlight and I see my pizza sauce spotted all down my white linen shirt. Then I hide out in the women’s restroom trying to spot clean my shirt. O, lordy, lordy, my nice white pressed linen shirt us now permanently spotted and wrinkled.

    I am thinking is this what God meant by; ” I am not coming for a church, My Bride, with spot or wrinkle.” My mouth, not another did it.

  18. I believe that is why Proverbs says the following in Chapter 4.

    23 “Above all else, guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it (your heart via your mouth flow the issues of life.” That means …. Out of your heart, manifested in your mouth….out of that…flow the issues of life. If there is an issue(s) in your life or the lives of those we have to do….and let’s face it, there is ALWAYS an issue of some sort….then we need godly wisdom in using our words and tongue, emanating from a guarded heart…that is a righteousness ISSUING (v.) forth, a godly issue (n.) to give LIFE to the issue and not death or grievance.

    I guess it could also say, give careful thought to the path of your tongue and lips and mouth and stay steady in the Spirit that will guide our thoughts and words.

  19. The word is very Keen on this precept. Ps. 24 says, paraphrased, ‘who do you think will be allowed to stand in the presence of the Lord or live in His Holy Place of great delight and blessings? Who will be allowed to be in the House of the Lord? As Sara says, “YEP”, you guessed it. That fortunate, blessed person will be the one who has CLEAN HANDS and a PURE HEART, who doesn’t practice lying, who is not deceitful or tricky, who is not greedy and pernicious in attitude, impatient or self-absorbed. The ones who seek God’s face with all their heart and mind and soul will see Him. He will enter their gates and come in to them, now . And those pure hearts will see God.

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