02 Jan Praying the Psalms
Do you ever have a hard time formulating the words you want to pray to God? Prayer, like any other discipline takes practice. Yet, we are not left to figure it out for ourselves. God teaches us how to pray. Of course, we know Jesus gave his disciples the Lord’s Prayer when they asked him to teach them how to pray. However, before Jesus gave us the Lord’s Prayer, God gave us an entire book of prayers. That prayer book is the book of Psalms. The psalms are inspired words from God himself given to his people to pray back to him. That means we don’t passively read the psalms. They are participatory. We don’t simply read the psalms, we pray them.
These prayers deal with all the different facets of life. There are psalms of wisdom, psalms of lament when we are at our lowest, psalms of praise to God for his salvation, psalms that praise God for his mighty works of creation, and for his majesty. There are psalms about the messianic redemption and the renewal of all things. There are psalms of worship and psalms that confess sins. The psalms run the gamut of human experience and emotion. We can run to the psalms when we are in the most joyful times in life and when we are in the deepest darkest pit. No matter what our situation in life is, there are words in the psalms that will speak to us and give us the words to speak to God.
The psalms are extremely important to the worship life of the church, both for corporate worship and for our private devotions. If you are not already doing it, I would encourage you to read the psalms daily and incorporate them into your prayer life.
In his book “The Songs of Jesus,” Tim Keller says, “We are not simply to read psalms; we are to be immersed in them so that they profoundly shape how we relate to God. The psalms are the divinely ordained way to learn devotion to our God.”
So that we can gain a greater understanding and appreciation for the psalms, I want to invite you, beginning January 6, to join us on Sunday mornings in the lounge during the Sunday School hour at 9:30 as we study the psalms. It is my prayer that this study of the psalms will profoundly shape how you relate to God.