I have found that I enjoy memorizing favorite bits of psalms, so that I will always have them with me for scattered bits of time to seize for a short prayer. At work, while driving, at any quiet moment during the day when having a prayer book handy just doesn’t happen. Lately I have been working on Psalm 86, verses 11 through 13. It starts out like this:
Teach me, Lord, your way
that I may walk in your truth,
single-hearted and revering your name.
I reflected on the first line, and realized that I actually already have been taught God’s way, in the sense that I know the Commandments, have read the Gospels, know the words of Jesus. I’ve been taught them well. But at the same time, I absorbed the idea of the importance and primacy, of the intellect and will. After all, emotions just happen, out of our control, a wash of chemicals in the brain. It’s what we do about them that counts, the feelings can be disregarded. That is what I have been told. But that is not entirely true, at least not for me.
Yes, emotions do just happen, but boy, do they matter in the depth and sincerity of our response and the lovingness in our souls. Walking in the Lord’s truth is more than just an act of will for me, if I am to be single-hearted, I need to feel it as well. I suspect that we all do. For that, I need rely on God’s grace. It is not my brain that needs to be taught His way, but my heart that needs the teaching and conversion. For that transformation of my soul, I pray daily, with trust that I am heard.
I will praise you with all my heart,
glorify your name forever, Lord my God.
Your love for me is great;
you have rescued me from the depths.