Search me, O God, and know my anxious heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out to me anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
SEARCH ME. SHOW ME. LEAD ME.
The Psalmist David models a beautiful prayer in Psalm 139:23-24 that offers insight on how to posture our hearts toward the Lord. He starts by asking the Lord to search his heart and show him his anxious ways. The Lord knows who we are and that is no secret but If you read the entire Psalm, David reveals to us the true extent to which the Lord knows us. So why is David asking God to search him and know him? He is giving God permission, availing himself to correction, so that to he is not deceived about himself (Jer 17:9). He is asking God to show him where he is being anxious and worrisome. Then he asks God, in verse 24, to point out to him what he is doing that offends God and asks God to lead him in the way he should go.
When we invite God in, he will come clean us up and lead us in the right direction. The scripture says he will lead us into the way everlasting. This is encouraging because it shows us that God corrects us in love. God shows us our sinful nature and our lack of trust and then leads us to paths of righteousness. This scripture also shows us that God does not barge into the rooms of our heart, point his finger at everything that is wrong with us, and storm out of the room leaving us to clean up the pieces. No, the Lord searches, shows, and leads. God corrects and redirects us so that we can keep growing. We do not have to stay stuck in worry and anxiety; we just have to be willing to ask God to search us.
Try praying based on David’s model this week while remembering that the Lord corrects those whom He loves (Prov 3:12, Heb 12:6). When he points out something to you, remember that it is because He loves you and that His correction is life giving. It will produce character in you that strengthens you for the next leg of your journey.
Example Prayer: Lord search my heart and show me my part in this situation. Show me where I have been worrying instead of trusting you. Point out to me where I have not treated people with love (or have offended you). Change my thoughts to line up with your thoughts, change my actions to line up with your will, and lead me in the way I should go.