Poetry · Whispers of Faith

A Prayer of the Tempted

[Reassurances from Psalm 139]



When temptations cut sharp

Like a knife,

Cause me to turn away

And love you more.


When the memories

Come unbidden and aching,

And I wish they meant more,

Help me to surrender to you.


When my heart whispers

To dwell on the forbidden,

Drown out the lies

With the truth that



When I’m so tired

Of fighting my longings,

Give me strength to resist

And grace to survive

And hope that you will conquer.


Your Word says,

“You discern my thoughts from afar” –

None of this is a surprise to you –

For “You are acquainted with

All my ways.”


You know me far better

Than anyone else –

“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me”

And I can’t escape your love.


This love undoes me

“For you formed my inward parts.”

I long to be intimately known –

And I am by you.

And more than that – you designed me.


“In your book were written,

Every one of them,

The days that were formed for me,

When as yet there was none of them.”


You have always had

A plan for my life

And you’ve always known

What my struggles would be.


And you’ve designed

That I would draw closer

To you in the midst of them.


That in the fire,

I would grip your hand tighter,

That in the pounding waves,

I would cling to your anchor relentlessly.


That in the face of

The beautiful longings,

I would turn away

To your beauty shining

Even brighter.


These temptations –

“They speak against you

With malicious intent” –

Whispering that you can’t

Satisfy like the precious longings.


But the more I see you

In your Word, oh God,

The more those longings

Are revealed to be a fraud

And a dull and lifeless substitute

For that which actually gives life.


You are the Living Water,

The precious well that will

Quench my thirst

And keep me satisfied.


Turn me away from

Broken cisterns of

Poisoned water

And drown me with your

Oceans of deep mercy.


“Search me, O God,

And know my heart”

Let me love you

More than any lie

And let me walk away

From death into

Your life everlasting tonight.


Photo by Andrey Grinkevich on Unsplash.

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