Step #1: Lectio / Read
Click the link below or open your Bible to the passage and read through the reading at least once, paying attention to what is happening in the text.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.”
Recently my wife and I were awakened in the middle of the night by our daughter Annemarie, who is five years old. She stood awkwardly in the doorway for a moment before coming closer and telling me that she had thrown up. I assumed she had gotten sick, tossed her cookies, and then came to tell us.
But after noticing the pile of dirty washcloths on the bathroom counter, my wife and I started to piece the scene together and discovered a different situation...
As it turns out, Annie got sick, but was afraid we’d be upset about the mess. She decided to take care of the problem herself, but she didn’t want to wake anyone, especially her 2-year old little sister Maura (her roommate). So she found some washcloths and tried to clean up her own mess. In the dark. By herself. It was hard enough for her to clean up without any light, but then she ran out of washcloths. At that point she realized she was in over her head, so she came and woke us up.
After hearing all the details of this story, you might be ready to throw up right now yourself. (Sorry.) But when my wife and I looked at our vomit-covered daughter and realized what she had been through, all we felt was compassion and love.
You may or may not be able to relate to the story I just shared with you. But I’m sure you can relate to being in over your head and needing someone to help you. We often find ourselves covered in the mess of sin, wandering around in the darkness and confusion it brings. We try to clean it up ourselves, but we come to realize that we’re in over our heads. We have no other option but to approach our heavenly Father embarrassed and messy, hoping He will see past our grime.
Today’s Psalm is simple and comforting: “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.” When we find ourselves stuck in sin and oppressed by our shame, let’s remember that our Father only looks on us with compassion and love. We don’t need to wander around in the dark trying to clean up our own mess. We don’t need to hide our mistakes, fearing His anger.
The Lord is not afraid of our sin. He already conquered it.
We must own up to our sins and bring our brokenness to Him. Then the blood of His Son Jesus will give us healing and peace. During this time of Lent, may the words of today’s Psalm give us courage to approach the Lord with confidence and trust in His unfailing mercy.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
Have you gotten in over your head?
Do you think there are some situations that are past redemption? Past fixing?
Are you willing to turn back to the Lord even when it's clear you've made the mess worse?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"I love you Lord."
"I need you Lord."
"I trust you Lord."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Take a moment today to examine your life and see if there are any situations where you're in over your head. Ask the Lord to enter into the situation with you and show you the clear way out.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Dan Wolff, husband, father and spreadsheet extraordinare in Crystal Lake, IL.
If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.
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