Jewish philosopher and theologian Martin Buber suggested that the name of God usually translated as "I am who I am" might better be translated as "I will be present (to you) as I will be present (to you.)" He was promising to be fully present. God is here for us. He is fully present when we open our Bibles. Just remembering that truth makes me want to be fully present also.
Nothing is more revealing about us than what brings us joy. Paul and Barnabas had just been chased out of a city by an angry mob, and they were "filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 13:52). Even when there is heartache, those who look to Christ find joy.
Sue Monk Kidd says each week she selects a psalm and then daily takes a few moments to pray through it. She tries to live with it throughout the days ahead, returning to it each day, praying it as if it were her own prayer--whispering its pleas for help or joining in its praise and worship. Slowly the psalm becomes her prayer. Usually, by the end of the week, she can identify her own personal situation somewhere in it.
A father said his wife came home from the doctor's office with their young son, and told him, "The doctor said David needs some special orthopedic shoes. Is it all right if I go buy them even though they are very expensive?"
Carole learned that amazing things happen when you memorize Scripture. She often says, "Don't memorize Scripture unless you want God to change your life," because He will do just that as you take His Word into your heart.
A young pastor felt he should spend his time from dawn until noon in prayer, worship, and Bible study. That time became the joy of his life. But over the months and years, his duties increased and he began to cut off 45 minutes of his devotional time. At times, needing to meet the needs of the people he worked late, and he stopped rising at dawn.
"A change came when I learned to use the Scriptures as a prayer book, and to turn what I read, especially the Psalms, into prayer," J. Oswald Sanders said telling of a lasting transformation in his prayer life. God promises, "I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled" (Jeremiah 1:12). I've written that promise at the top of a sheet of typed Scriptures that I like to pray.