Lesson 6, Series 2, Psalm 42, Lectio Divina

Psalm 42 (NLT)

As the deer longs for streams of water,
so I long for you, O God.
I thirst for God, the living God.
When can I go and stand before him?
Day and night I have only tears for food,
while my enemies continually taunt me, saying,
“Where is this God of yours?”

My heart is breaking
as I remember how it used to be:
I walked among the crowds of worshipers,
leading a great procession to the house of God,
singing for joy and giving thanks
amid the sound of a great celebration!

Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and my God!

Now I am deeply discouraged,
but I will remember you—
even from distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan,
from the land of Mount Mizar.
I hear the tumult of the raging seas
as your waves and surging tides sweep over me.
But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me,
and through each night I sing his songs,
praying to God who gives me life.

“O God my rock,” I cry,
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I wander around in grief,
oppressed by my enemies?”
10 Their taunts break my bones.
They scoff, “Where is this God of yours?”

11 Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and my God!

Preparation:  Place yourself in a comfortable setting.  Take a couple of deep breaths, holding and releasing them slowly.  As you release your breath, feel the tension and stress leave your body.

Lectio:  Read through the entire Psalm 42, aloud if possible.  As you read through a second time, note or underline any words and/or phrases that catch your attention.  If they are repeated, note this as well.

Meditatio:  Spend some time reflecting on the words or phrases that impacted you during your reading.  Play them over and over in your mind, letting them sink into your soul.  Be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit as you meditate on these words.  Consider what God is saying to you through them.

Oratio:  As you pray today, remember that although God may seem far away in the moment, we can place our hope in the knowledge that our Savior and Lord is the giver of life and showers us with love (vs. 8).

Contemplatio:  Hope in the midst of despair can be difficult.  As you complete this reading, join with the author of this psalm in reflecting in the hope that we have in a God who is faithful, someone upon whom we can count in times of trouble, a loving Savior who has our best interest in mind.

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