Praying a Psalm

Have you ever tried to pray a psalm? It’s an interesting thing to do. Psalms, so charged with emotion, come straight from the psalmist’s heart. When I pray a psalm, I claim those emotionally charged words as my own, and shoot them straight from my own heart. Which is strange because I don’t usually speak that way. I know that those words are divinely inspired, and I know God is pleased with them. Therefore, I believe He is pleased to hear them prayed back to Him.

I recently prayed Psalm 31:1-5 at a ladies’ Bible study. I changed the “I” and “my” to “we” and “our.” It was very simple, but I felt like it was also very suitable, particularly the last verse, committing our spirits into God’s hand.

Praying psalms adds a whole new dimension to my prayer life, and I am the first to admit that a whole new dimension is exactly what it needs most of the time.

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2 thoughts on “Praying a Psalm”

  1. Our church is currently hosting a Bible study on the Psalms, so I have been thinking of them of late, as well. It really is an interesting thing to read aloud or pray the psalms, since many of them leave me uncomfortable in their passion and intensity. How can we pray these without being hypocritical, or how can we pray them as our personal prayers? I have been thinking of Bonhoeffer’s thoughts in Life Together – that we pray them as the body of Christ, since they are ultimately His prayers.

    1. I agree that the Psalms’ passion and intensity leave me uncomfortable, too. Just one psalm can be a roller-coaster ride in emotions. I guess I look at it as being poetical…the poet knew the right words to describe what he was feeling. I believe we all have similar types of emotions if only we knew how to talk about them. Praying a psalm is a way of crying out to God, where God (through the psalmist) provides the words for us.

      What you say about praying them as the body of Christ is interesting. I think I’d have to read more of that book to understand what he means. But yes, the Psalms are Christ’s prayers.

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