Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar. Psalm 42:5-6

Self-talk. All day, every day, it seems I am caught in a conversation. Many times, it is self-talk. The psalmist illustrates the art of self-talk here and I love that it comes in the midst of his prayers. The more I read the Psalms and the more I consider them to be prayers, the more I see that, in some ways, the psalmists were distracted persons in their prayers. Many times, they seem to meander and, as in this psalm, move into questioning themselves and their souls. Why do I feel this way? Why am I responding like this? Snap out of it! Put your trust in God. I see this in my self-talk. It is easy for me to step into damaging self-talk if I neglect to remind myself often that I can listen to the truth of God in all the ways that He has revealed Himself. This may mean rehearsing the mighty acts of Scripture or it may be reading old journals to remind myself of His faithfulness in my life. When God allows me to remember that I thirst after Him and His presence, just like the deer panting for the water, my self-talk takes a whole different course, and rather than speaking the language of despair, I speak the language of the certain hope I have in the presence and promise of God.

O LORD, please step in often to those conversations I have with myself. I need your truth to stay constantly in front of me so that I do not listen to the lies that cause me to drift from you. Draw me close. I thirst for your love and presence in my life. Amen.