Praying with Psalm 16

Use the questions below the verses of Psalm 16 to help you focus on your commitment and intimate relationship to a wise and loving God. These verses are from Eugene Peterson’s interpretation of Psalm 16 in The Message; they may strike you as bold, even brash.Their freshness may help your see your relationship with God in a new light.

Keep me safe, O God,  I’ve run for dear life to you.

I say to God, “Be my Lord! Without you, nothing makes sense.’

  •  Bring to memory a time you have “run for dear life” to God.   How did God make you    feel safe?
  •  Can you honestly say to God, “Without you, nothing makes sense?”  What about  your  relationship with God helps you make sense of life?  Thank God for that relationship.

And these God-chosen lives all around – what splendid friends they make!

  • Think of the splendid friends you have made among God’s chosen lives.  Thank God for them one by one.  As you mention their names, what thoughts come to mind?  How have they shown their friendship to you?  What can you do to show your friendship to them?

Don’t just go shopping for a god.  Gods are not for sale.

I swear I’ll never treat god-names like brand names

  • What does it mean to go shopping for a god?  Have you ever acted as if God is for sale?What did you offer God for his services?
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to bring to mind when you have treated something or someone like a god? (Money, a person you respected, a religious tradition?  Were you disappointed when they didn’t treat you well in return? Ask God for forgiveness for creating idols to worship.

My choice is you, God, first and only.  And know I find I’m your choice.

You set me up with a house and yard, and then you made me your heir.

  • Can you honestly say that God is your first and only choice? Do you celebrate the fact that God chose you or do you take it for granted.  
  • What does it mean to be God’s heir?

I’m happy from the inside out,  and from the outside in, I’m firmly formed

You’ve canceled my ticket to hell – that’s not my destination.

  • Do you feel happy from the inside out?  How do you express that? Do other people see that joy in you?
  • Do you feel “firmly formed?”  If not, how can you change that?
  • Do you understand that you live in the kingdom of God and that no matter what happens you are safe?  What’s it like to know that your destination is living in that kingdom eternally?

Now you’ve got my feet on the life path, all radiant from the shining of your face.

Ever since you took my hand, I’m on the right way.

  • Think back to a time when you strayed off “the life path” – away from God’s shining face? How did that come about?  How did you find your way back? Share that experience with someone who is lost.
  • Do you feel as if God is walking  hand in hand with you?  Describe what that is like and thank God for that blessing. Share that experience with someone who does not feel that intimacy.
  • What are you doing to stay on the “right way?” Share that experience with someone who is flirting with choosing the “wrong” way.
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