Lent, Prayer

Known – Lent 2023

As part of my work at the university where I serve, I get the joy this year of helping plan some aspects of our campus-wide journey through Lent alongside our campus pastor and the students of our campus ministry team.

This year Psalm 139 will be the main reflection for all our students, faculty, and staff for the 40 days (plus Sundays) leading up to Easter, focusing specifically on the word “KNOWN”.

What does it mean to be fully known by God?
How can we know his story on an even deeper level?
How can we make Him known through our lives?

When my teammate informed me of this theme near the beginning of the semester it caught my attention because it was a passage I was already planning to explore a lot and try to memorize in 2023.

I’ve had a lot of time the last few weeks to explore this powerful prayer of David on my own and in the process of creating some weekly prayer stations that will be up in our chapel space. Every time I read it, the words get richer and richer. I hope this is a space where I can share some of what I’m learning on my own as well as some of the prayer prompts and reflections I’ve written for my students and teammates.

Each week with the prayer stations we have include a short two word prayer to frame the week. This week’s prayer is “know me” based on the first 4 verses of Psalm 139:

“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.”

As I’ve prayed this prayer and explored these verses this week, something struck me:

“Know me” is not only the cry of our hearts to God, but also of His to us.

Here’s a little more about that in a prayer I wrote earlier this week:

“Know me.”
It’s a prayer, but kind of an odd one.

For sure, I desire to be known by You, God, deeply and fully. But it’s odd because it’d be impossible for You not to know me.

As this psalmist recounts You already know me, down to the number of hairs on my head.

You know how I’ve failed You this last week and you know when I’ve faithfully followed.
You know my tears.
You know my joy.
You know things hidden so deep in my heart that I don’t even know them.
You know my fears.
You know my hopes and longings.
You know when my heart explodes with gratitude and celebration.
You know the ways I serve that no one else sees.
You know the ways I sin that no one else sees too.
You know.

And still… you love me.

Perhaps a better prayer this week would be to help me know YOU.

I want to search Your heart and know everything about You!
I want to watch where You sit and rise and know Your thoughts.
I want to travel along where You go and rest when You rest.
I want to know Your word, Your voice, completely, Lord.

Know me this week, Jesus.
Yes I pray that.
But even more, let me know You.
What a wonderful miracle that You allow us to know You.
May we get to the end of this season of Lent able to say we know You more than we do today.

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