Praying with the Psalms

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Picture of a Bible opened to Psalms

I have mentioned several times before that the Psalms can serve as models for our prayers, praise, thanksgiving, worship, and expressing our grief. The Psalms in today’s Bible reading* are particularly good examples for us.

Psalm 89 is another Maskil. You will remember that Maskils are psalms that stimulate the mind. They make you think. The first part of Psalm 89 sings God’s praises for what He has done. The Psalmist recounts God’s creation and stands in awe of this Majestic God. He speaks of God’s mighty hand and His power.

Psalm 96 encourages the readers/singers to praise God and tell other people about God. The Psalmist compares the living, Creator God to worthless idols. He concludes with a powerful statement on God’s judgment: God will righteously judge everyone, not with their faithfulness (or faithlessness), but with His faithfulness.

Psalm 100 speaks of praising and serving God. (A quick note: “serving” God and “worshiping” God are oftentimes used synonymously) Finally, the Psalmist bursts into thanksgiving for all that God has done.

Psalm 101 is a declaration where David says that He will sing of God’s faithful love and justice. He commits to living with integrity. He commits to not turning aside from God to worship idols. Finally, he commits to not tolerate sin in those who surround him.

In our last Psalm, Psalm 107, the Psalmist praises God for delivering His people. When they have experienced His correction, they only needed to cry out to Him and He rescued them. The last verse reads like a Maskil, “Let whoever is wise pay attention to these things and consider the Lord’s acts of faithful love.” (Psalm 107:43 CSB)

Application

Do you use the Psalms as models when you pray? Would you like more encouragement in approaching God by praying His Word to Him? A good friend from college, Dick Cain wrote an excellent book, Praying the Psalms: Recovering One of the Lost Tools of Christian Spirituality. I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of this affordable resource and apply what you learn.

Cover image of Dick Cain's Handbook on Praying the Psalms

* Chapters covered in today’s reading:
Psalms 89
Psalms 96
Psalms 100
Psalms 101
Psalms 107

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