The Language of Prayer: Psalms

The Psalms are a prayer book giving us a language for responding to the God who speaks to us.  They give voice to the entire experience of being human (celebration and lamentation, instruction and direction, protection and provision).  In praying the Psalms we acclimate to the coherence, clarity, and rhythm of life and intimacy with God.  What follows are some suggestions for praying the Psalms.  The list is not exhaustive.

  • Continue to go straight through the Psalms in numerical order. Do this throughout your lifetime.
  • Varying your posture in prayer as you read (on your knees, prostrate, raising hands, etc.) will be meaningful.
  • Remember that the Psalms were poetry set to music.
  • Learn to meditate as your spirit does the communicating.
  • Read them out loud.
  • Incorporate them into public prayers when you have the opportunity.
  • Do some scribing. Copy a particular psalm or two; write out an expanded translation of your own.
  • Take the time to pray for pleasure. Pray at a time when you normally would not have thought to do so.
  • Share some of your favorite psalms with others.
  • Read the Psalms in different versions.
  • Let the Psalms become a launching pad for imagination, encouragement, celebration, and anticipation.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding.  In all you ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”  Next time we will look at the Proverbs, and how to walk in prayerful wisdom.