I had too much to do today.  But thank God I kept my Sabbath anyway to walk in the hills and go into quiet prayer.

I set aside ministry opportunities, but they came with me in my head!  So I kept setting aside all these good thoughts for the best thoughts.  I let the beauty of God’s creation and the prayers of the Psalmist draw me into Christ’s wonderful presence.

Eventually all that was left was Jesus. And in Jesus I found delight!

Later I prayed about ministry matters and then I did the work of ministry in Jesus’ easy yoke.  O Jesus!  O that I would live with you in this way always.

Paraphrasing Scripture

To help me give my heart to my Lord Jesus Christ I meditated on Psalm 63, especially verses 1 and 3. I went over and over the verses in my mind and started coming up with paraphrases so that God’s word was engaging my heart.

Paraphrasing Scripture is a great way to meditate. You just use your own personal wording to express the meaning and application of the text to your life.

Here’s my prayer of paraphrases from Psalm 63:1, 3:

O Jesus!

O Jesus!

My soul thirsts for you! – for your Spirit’s living waters;

My whole being from the inside out yearns for your presence;

My personality clings to you to hold me together, upright;

My inner depths look up to you, longing for your smile;

My soul cries out to you, to flow in your life now and forever.

O Jesus!

Your love is better than life! – better than any other thing;

Your presence with me is the only thing that satisfies me;

Your personality – wonderfully complete – is what embraces me;

Your deep mercy and grace is all that I live for;

Your life in me and through me to others is my greatest joy.

O Jesus!

My soul thirsts for you! – for your Spirit’s living waters;

Your love is better than life! – better than any other thing;

My whole being from the inside out yearns for your presence;

Your presence with me is the only thing that satisfies me;

My personality clings to you to hold me together, upright;

Your personality – wonderfully complete – is what embraces me;

My inner depths look up to you, longing for your smile;

Your deep mercy and grace is all that I live for;

My soul cries out to you, to flow in your life now and forever.

Your life in me and through me to others is my greatest joy.

More Soul Shepherding

What does it mean to practice a Sabbath? How might you do that in a way that fits your life and helps you to enter God’s rest? You can read my thoughts and personal experiences in Sabbath-Keeping.

You Can Live in Jesus’ Easy Yoke is my new book that will help you experience God’s rhythms of grace in the midst of your life struggles and stress.

Donations to Soul Shepherding provide psychotherapy and spiritual mentoring for pastors, pastor’s wives, and missionaries at low cost or free.

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