Just As I Am
Dear God, You are Living Water, You are the Bread of Life. I come hungry and thirsty for You now.
Read Psalm 25:1-22
 Of David.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Hope is the confidence that if you do God’s will, God will keep his promises to you” (Tony Campolo).
Psalm 25 is ascribed to David. As with many psalms bearing his name, it isn’t clear whether he wrote it himself, or it was written for him, or about him or for his use. In his last words, however, he describes himself as “the hero of Israel’s songs” (2 Sam. 23:1), so it’s clear there is a close connection with him. The psalm falls, broadly, into three sections. Verses 1-7 focus on the psalmist’s plea for God to help, guide and forgive. Verses 8-15 focus on God, his character and how he acts in, and blesses, the lives of his followers. Finally, the psalmist’s personal and physical situation returns to the fore, and he implores God for protection and deliverance (16-22). The whole is a fervent prayer of trust in the midst of trouble.
Having worked with children most of my life, including in church, I know the ways in which we teach them about prayer. Models such as ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication), as well as many creative activities, begin with worshiping God. This psalm is different. It shows us someone who, as soon as he approaches God, needs to get his anxiety off his chest. Next, he praises God, and then his troubles return to the front of his mind. If the psalm were expressed physically, I imagine the psalmist striding about in agitation, then standing still with arms raised, and then curling up small as circumstances overwhelm him again.
Having tried different patterns of prayer over the years, I have discovered that, for me, using a formula can be good, and so can ad hoc prayers, as well as prayers written by others. I appreciate variety. What matters, as this psalm shows, is coming into God’s presence just as we are, encouraging ourselves with affirmation of who God is, and being honest.
On separate pieces of paper, make a list of words describing God (as in Psa. 25). Stick them up around your house or office. Let them focus your thoughts on him throughout the day.
Great God, I offer praise to You for who You are, what You have done, and what You will do. I’m filled with hope and anticipation on this Lord’s Day.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Encounter with God is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.