Lesson 8, Series 2, Psalm 56, Lectio Divina

Psalm 56 (NLT)

O God, have mercy on me,
for people are hounding me.
My foes attack me all day long.
I am constantly hounded by those who slander me,
and many are boldly attacking me.
But when I am afraid,
I will put my trust in you.
I praise God for what he has promised.
I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
What can mere mortals do to me?

They are always twisting what I say;
they spend their days plotting to harm me.
They come together to spy on me—
watching my every step, eager to kill me.
Don’t let them get away with their wickedness;
in your anger, O God, bring them down.

You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.

My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help.
This I know: God is on my side!
10 I praise God for what he has promised;
yes, I praise the Lord for what he has promised.
11 I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
What can mere mortals do to me?

12 I will fulfill my vows to you, O God,
and will offer a sacrifice of thanks for your help.
13 For you have rescued me from death;
you have kept my feet from slipping.
So now I can walk in your presence, O God,
in your life-giving light.

Preparation:  Position yourself in a comfortable place with your Bible and journal.  Spend a few moments in prayer, asking God to speak through the words of this Psalm and quiet your heart.

Lectio:  Read through the entire Psalm 56, aloud if possible.  In the second reading, take your time, reading slowly and highlight or note in your journal the words and/or phrases that particularly speak to you.

Meditatio:  Review the words or phrases that stood out to you.  Repeat them over to yourself until they become a part of you.  Allow the Holy Spirit to speak through these words, perhaps recalling a relationship that needs attention, or reminding you to call upon God in your time of need.

Oratio:  Talk to God about the things that you have been reminded of.  If it is helpful, record your conversation in your journal.  Allow for a time of silence to hear God’s response to you.

Contemplatio:  As you conclude your time with God, reread verses 9-13.  Rest secure in the knowledge that God is trustworthy, and his Spirit gives life.

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