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 afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Psalm 139:1-3 ESV
“The prayer preceding all prayer is ‘May it be the real I who speaks. May it be the real Thou that I speak to.'” (C. S. Lewis)
The fallen self cannot know itself. As we have seen, we do not know who we are and will search for our identity in someone or something other than God until we find ourselves in Him. And it is only in Him that we become persons. In the Presence, conversing with Him, we find that the ‘old man’ – the sinful, the neurotic, the sickly compulsive, the seedy old actor within – is not the Real, but that these are simply the false selves that can never be rooted in God. We find that God is the Real and that He calls the real ‘I’ forward, separating us from our sicknesses and sins. We then no longer define ourselves by our sins, neuroses, and deprivations, but by Him whose healing life cleanses and indwells us. 
You needn’t know yourself in order to pray; it is through prayer that you will come to know yourself. Sadly, shame makes us afraid to be seen, even to ourselves. Yet those who dialog with God, resting in Him and listening for His voice, receive something astonishingly wonderful: the real, and continuously more good, beautiful, and true self.
Gracious Father, I turn toward You now. I lift my face to You, confessing that only You see me and know me fully. I ask life of You, Creator God, Redeemer God. Bring me into my true self, the one who can abide in You forever. Let the old fall away, let the false disintegrate like the hard shell of a wheat grain in fertile soil. I believe You can make me real, for You are making all things new.
 Leanne Payne, The Broken Image (Grand Rapids, Hamewith Books, 1981), p. 149-150.
Painting: Henri Martin, 1860 – 1943, A Garden in the Sunshine. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Meditation prepared by Sarah Colyn, drawing on the books and ministry of Leanne Payne.