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 NIV
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. Philippians 4:6-7
Being anxious about our past, our present or our future, can be an intensely personal, even isolating experience. But God calls us to be in community. He calls us to be involved in each other’s lives, particularly in prayer for one another. Simply the act of sharing our anxieties with another person can lessen our individual anxieties. Also, it opens the opportunity to lessen another person’s anxieties as well. God calls us to, “carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ,” Galatians 6:2 NIV
I have enjoyed reading and praying through Psalm 139 for myself over the years. A recent conversation with Carolyn Schmitt opened up a new way for me to pray Psalm 139 for others. First, take all the personal pronouns in Psalm 139 and change them to another person’s name. Then Pray through Psalm 139 for that person you want to pray for. If that person’s name is Mary – then this is how it would work in verses Psalm 139:1-6.
O Lord, you have searched Mary, and you know Mary. You know when Mary sits down and when Mary rises; you perceive Mary’s thoughts from afar. You discern her going out and her lying down; you are familiar with all her ways. Before a word is on Mary’s tongue you know it completely, O Lord. You hem her in – behind and before; you have laid your hand upon Mary. Such knowledge is too wonderful for Mary and me, too lofty for us to attain.
You can add your own thoughts as they occur, or as the verses and the Holy Spirit prompts you to pray for that other person.
Here is an example:
“Lord, help Mary to know you, to be aware of how intimately you know her, her thoughts, her wishes, her dreams, and to know that she can place her greatest desires and anxieties in your capable hands, Lord.”
This week, pray for someone else who has a need or is anxious. Use Psalm 139 to guide your prayer.