A Prayer of Praise


Psalm 139

O Lord, you have probed me,
you know me:
  you know when I sit and stand;
you understand my thoughts from afar.
My travels and my rest you mark;
with all my ways you are familiar.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
Lord, you know it all.
Behind and before you encircle me
and rest your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is beyond me,
far too lofty for me to reach.
Where can I hide from your spirit?
From your presence, where can I flee?
If I ascend to the heavens,
you are there;
if I lie down in darkness,
you are there too.

If I fly with the wings of dawn  

 and alight beyond the sea,

Even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely darkness shall hide me,
 and night shall be my light”
Darkness is not dark for you,
and night shines as the day.
Darkness and light are but one.
You formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother’s womb.
I praise you,
so wonderfully you made me;
wonderful are your works!
My very self you knew;
 my bones were not hidden from you,
When I was being made in secret,
fashioned as in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes foresaw my actions;
 in your book all are written down;
my days were shaped,
before one came to be.
How precious to me are your designs,
O God; how vast the sum of them!
Were I to count,
they would outnumber the sands;
to finish, I would need eternity.

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