“Why so downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” – Psalm 42:11
As I pray, I focus on and imagine simply sitting in God’s presence and waiting on Jesus. Prayer is not one-sided. We must focus more on listening to God in prayer, and not so much speaking at God. When we listen, then we can speak to and with Jesus.
As I pray, the Spirit leads me to the desert: a palette mixed with red, brown, tan, and grey, dotted with rocks, shrubs, and brush among the sand and dirt. I go from sitting on a bench on the perimeter of a small stone circle built in the desert, with a fire of dried, windswept kindling resting on a grey stone pillar at the circle’s center, smoke rising, and burning embers at the fire’s base, to the setting of God’s garden. The life-giving tree of God is at its center, with vibrant shades of green and bright colors filling this palette. Breathing deeply, the air is cool, clear, and cleansing. God’s stream of cool, clear, cleansing, and life-giving water flows next to the meadow, overshadowed by the far-reaching shade of God’s tree of life.
The deer drinking from the stream,
the roaring waterfall below;
it’s the river of your life, Jesus.
Wash me in your water.
Let the flood of your waterfall come over me.
Let me stand in its water.
It is your life, Jesus, flowing through the land,
giving nourishment to your land and all your creatures,
winding through your plains, mountains, forests, and valleys,
flowing peacefully next to your tree of life,
teeming with life,
vibrant and abundant in every branch and leaf.
I rest against its trunk,
my back against its bark,
my hands in the soft grass,
sitting under your shade,
the sky blue above,
the air cool around me.
Give me peace in your life, Jesus.
Give me rest.
Why should I be downcast,
even when life has its pains and sorrows,
and the world so full of sin,
when I can rest in your land,
wash in your waters,
drink from your streams,
and sit under your tree?
As the deer pants for streams of water,
my soul longs for you, O God.
The deer pants,
but finds rest, refreshment, and safety
as it drinks from your streams,
and so my soul that longs for you
also finds refuge in you, Jesus.
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