The Word with Prayer: Meditation I on Psalm 119

            Psalm 119 is a prayer. The greatest theological discourse on the source, character, and effect of God’s Word is a prayer. We would not have done it this way. We would have written some massive theological work that would explore with scholarly objectivity the nature of God’s Word. But not the psalmist. For him God’s Word comes alive by the power of the living God. He knows that to study God’s Word he must pray. He does not seek to understand it by sheer force of will or by his reasoning alone. The Spirit must guide him, rebuke him, exhort him, and teach him as he studies God’s Word.  God’s Word must never be divorced from prayer. To seek understanding of and obedience to God’s Word apart from communion with God is to function as an atheist.  It is to believe that God’s Word is like an animal I can dissect and figure out apart from grace. It is to assume that God is not personal or living or present.

            But if we drench our study of God’s Word in prayer then we are confessing that we need God to understand his word. We are trusting that God will give us that understanding and a heart that longs to obey.  Psalm 119 is telling us that the Christian life is not the Word and prayer, but the Word with prayer.
            Lord, keep us from thinking that we can believe, understand, or obey your word apart from prayer. Amen!

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