This year Lent has seemed more chaotic with endless curve balls thrown my way. I realized that I need to push a pause button and take a moment to practice a spiritual discipline known as self-examen. It is time set aside alone with the Lord seeking the Holy Spirit to check on my spiritual health. I decided to use Psalm 139 as map to guide me. I then layered on top a prayer guide that allowed me to take each verse and see what God had for me there.
- Adoration, what is a way I could praise and adore God for the quality in this verse?
- Confession, what is something I need to ask God for forgiveness regarding this verse? Has God used his word to illuminate a sin?
- Thanksgiving– what do I need to give thanks for God in this verse?
- Supplication -what does this verse bring to mind that I need to pray about?
1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.
3 You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
5 You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.
7 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
9 If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.
13 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.
19 Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me!
20 They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
22 I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me and lead me in the way everlasting!
I want to thank Ruth Haley Barton for her suggestion of using this Psalm for the practice of self-examination. Check out her brilliant work on spiritual disciplines.
I would love to hear how God spoke to you through your own self-examen. What did you find in Psalm 139, and what did God find in you?