When you’re reading the Bible, do you ever just stop mid sentence to pray because your heart is warmed with appreciation for Jesus? This morning I was reading Psalm 95 and I stopped at the first word: “Come!” It stirred a sweet memory of praying on retreat and hearing the church bells ringing, calling me to come to prayer.

Yes, the Lord is inviting us to come to him! He’s smiling, his arms are open to us, his heart is open to us — all for me and for you!

Do you believe this? Or maybe it is an unfamiliar experience for you to be chosen and delighted in? Maybe you feel insecure or unworthy?

Embrace Jesus

Come. Come to Jesus. Oh to embrace our Lord — right now. Oh to live more and more in his embrace. Nothing is sweeter. You yearn for this love and so does everyone around you.

Nothing is more important for our lives than to respond to Jesus’ invitation. Three times in Psalm 95 the Lord invites us to come close. Three times in the gospels the Lord Jesus Christ invites us to “come” to him:

  • “Come and see how I live” (John 1:39, par)
  • “Come to me and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28)
  • “Come and follow me to fish for souls” (Matthew 4:19, par)

Hear the bells ring: “Come… Come… Come…”

Meditate on Scripture

We come to Jesus when we let the Scripture warm our hearts for prayer. Praying the Scripture — that’s what it means to meditate.

We need to keep reminding ourselves that more important than getting through our Bible reading is getting our Bible reading through us. When the Word of God descends from your mind into your heart to begin forming you more into the image of Christ it has done its work — just rest in the loving hands of the Potter and smile your love to him.

Then take the Word that’s in your heart into whatever you’ll be doing that day. That’s the real test of your Bible reading: daily life. As you do your work do it with Jesus and for his honor. As you’re with people rely on the Word to help you love. As listen to people shoot up a little prayer.

Keep praying. As you’re waiting on someone or walking, as you’re brushing your teeth or taking out the trash, or as you lay in bed and can’t sleep recall the Scripture to your mind and let it lead you in prayer.

A Jesus Prayer for You, for Others

Here’s a little Jesus Prayer I wrote from Psalm 95. It’s easy to memorize and pray as you go about your day. Come to Jesus with me now:

Lord Jesus Christ
Today I listen for your voice
Today I soften my heart to you
Today I walk in your way

It helps to pray these words with your body. Put your hands on your ears and pray to listen. Put your hands on your heart to soften it to God. Extend your hands out to dedicate your steps to follow him.

You might try applying God’s Word to your life by praying about specific situations or events: “Dear Lord, today as I ______ , I  seek to hear your voice, soften my heart, and follow your way.”

You can “abide” in this prayer for others by name: “Lord Jesus, may ______ listen to your voice, soften her heart, and walk in your ways.”

More Soul Shepherding

Do you know the original “Jesus Prayer” and the heart-warming story behind it? “The Jesus Prayer and the Anonymous Pilgrim’s Story” has done so much to help me and others that I give spiritual direction to. It’ll inspire you too!

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