Dear Lord, I know that the greatest blessing in all the world is found in living according to your commands, in seeking you with all my heart, and keeping from doing any evil. (1-3) This is a greater blessing than all the money in the world, or anything the world can offer: houses, cars, vacations, relationships, power and prestige; and yet, anyone can have it. (72) You have told us that we must make a careful effort to follow your ways diligently, but how I need your help to do this! (5)
If I have my eyes fixed firmly on obeying you and not on the distractions of this world, then you'll take care of the rest and I do not have to worry about anything else. (6) Then I will be able to praise you freely, with a heart that is pure, when I have learned how true your rules really are. (7) I am committing myself now to work with all my heart to keep your statutes. And yet, I still feel such distress from living in this world. Please do not forsake me, for I desperately need your presence. (8)
There are temptations and sin everywhere I look, how can any young person possibly follow after you in this culture? But you have told us the answer; it is in carefully examining your word, and in using it as a guide book that guards everything we do. (9) With my whole heart I desire to be close to you and to follow you, and yet I am still in the flesh and I need your help to keep me from wandering from your commandments. My heart is so prone to wander. (10) But I have read your words over and over, and I have pondered their meaning. I have poured over your words and believed them, so that now I know them by heart. This constant thinking on your word will keep me from sinning against you. (11)
Lord, I am overcome by your greatness and majesty and splendor. Teach me how I can be pure like you. (12) I love your rules so much that I can't keep silent about them, so I talk about them all the time, everywhere I go. I have more interest in your laws than in politics, the weather, sports, the economy, or in riches. Your law thrills my soul. (14) All day long I think over what you have written and keep turning my attention to right living. (15)
I find my greatest joy and delight in reading what you have written to me in your word. It is the goal of my life to never forget what you say. More than anything else, I want to understand your law. But I can't do that unless you open my eyes and help me to see all the wonders hidden in there just for me. (18) This place called earth is not my true home. I don't belong here and am just a stranger who longs for my heavenly home where you are. Sometimes I feel so alone here. Sometimes I feel like the meaning of your words is hidden from me; uncover them so that I can I know you. My soul longs for a right understanding of what you have written so much that it is all I think about all day long. (20)
This exercise taught me how much I need scripture to teach me what to think on, what to hope for, and what to pray.