One of my favorite blogs is “Jesus Creed” by Scot McKnight (with frequent contributors). The site includes many different kinds of topics: contemporary evangelicalism, the emergent church, science and Bible, book reviews, etc. Scot also comments directly on Scripture, and has been doing a series on the Psalms under the title “Our Common Prayerbook.”
He’s only doing one or at most two Psalms a week, so we’re about to pass him in our hundred days in the Psalms. But I thought his five entries on Psalm 25 were great commentary and a great thought process. Here’s the link to the first one: Our Common Prayerbook 25-1
Prayer is soul-ish wandering. It wanders from who we are and what we have done and what life is like into the presence of God where it again wanders into who God is and what God is like and what God has done and what God can do and what God will do, and then back again to us and then back again to God. This is not done casually or flippantly, but from the heart and soul and mind and spirit.
I wonder if we think of prayer as “soul-ish wandering” enough. I wonder if we think our mental meanderings and ponderings and worries are aspects of prayer. They are prayer if they are all done in God’s presence, whether we are talking to God directly or not.
Psalm 25 is another splendid example of soul-ish wandering. It is an almost complete alphabetical psalm where the first line begins with a new letter in the Hebrew alphabet. It wanders first into the presence of God or into consciousness of God. “To you, YHWH, I lift up my soul, my God. In you I have trusted — may I not be ashamed.” Here is the disposition of genuine prayer: nothing more, and nothing less than, entering into God’s very presence in trust. Prayer, especially if it is soul-ish wandering, offers our very selves to God.