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‘Now I know only in part,’ says Paul in 1 Corinthians 13, ‘then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.’

Psalm 139

To the leader. Of David. A Psalm.

O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from far away.
You search out my path and my lying down,
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
    O Lord, you know it completely.
You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is so high that I cannot attain it.

Where can I go from your spirit?
    Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
    if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning
    and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me fast.
11 If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light around me become night’,
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is as bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

13 For it was you who formed my inward parts;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
    Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.
15     My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written
    all the days that were formed for me,
    when none of them as yet existed.
17 How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 I try to count them—they are more than the sand;
    I come to the end—I am still with you.

19 O that you would kill the wicked, O God,
    and that the bloodthirsty would depart from me—
20 those who speak of you maliciously,
    and lift themselves up against you for evil!
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
    And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred;
    I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my thoughts.
24 See if there is any wicked way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.

As we pray, ‘Lead us not into temptation’, there is immense strength in understanding that God already knows us, through and through.

Psalm 139 is a powerful reflection on this theme. God knows us inside out and from beginning to end. God is present at the very beginning of our lives: ’You knit me together in my mother’s womb.’ God is present in every breath and every place, in the light and in the darkness. God knows my every thought, but I understand only a fraction of God’s wisdom.

For that reason, I dare to pray with the psalmist, even in the midst of trials of every kind: ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart’. Opening our lives to God, who is already with us, is the greatest defence against temptation.

Look back over the last five days. What have you learned about the layers of meaning in ‘Lead us not into temptation’

In all times of sorrow;
in all times of joy;
in the hour of death,
and at the day of judgement,
good Lord, deliver us.


From the Litany

Look at some family photos together. Share memories as you talk about the people and places in them. Use some of the pictures to create a collage or digital slide show with the caption “O Lord, you have searched me and known me.”
Share this #EasterPilgrim reflection with your family and friends
Reflections from the Church House Publishing Pilgrim Journeys: 40 Days of Reflections on The Lord's Prayer written by Steven Croft are copyright 2019, 2020 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission. Full details of both resources are available on the Church of England website.

Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
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