Many of the Psalms have the un-translated Hebrew word “Selah.” I’ve suggested that it was a musical pause, or instructions for the performers to emphasize the thoughts of the preceding verse. The Psamist has suggested some thought that requires pause. In other words, I think it means “stop and think about it.” In Psalm 62, the author exhorts us all to “Trust in him (God) at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.” Then he says, “Selah.”

The purpose of a personal devotional prayer life is to “pour out our hearts” to God. There is no secret to staying close to God and walking with him every day. It was Jesus’ custom to get up early and pour out his heart to God. It’s really a matter of discipline. Just as the follower of Jesus is called a “Disciple,” it involves a personal discipline of carving out the necessary time to spend with God and His Word every day. Establishing this discipline in our lives makes a difference in how we live. When I’m spending daily time with God and his Word, and pouring my heart out to Him, it gives wings to my faith. The Psalmist begins his exhortation to us by saying “Trust in Him at all times.” That’s hard to do when you don’t take time to “think about” Him or to cultivate a relationship with Him. I can tell the difference between the days I begin with pouring out my heart to God and the days I don’t. I think others can also.

Early African converts to Christianity were earnest and regular in private devotions. Each one reportedly had a separate spot in the thicket where he would pour out his heart to God. Over time the paths to these places became well worn. As a result, if one of these believers began to neglect prayer, it was soon apparent to the others. They would kindly remind the negligent one, “Brother, the grass grows on your path.”

But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? (Psalm 56:3-4)