praying the Psalms

[musings from the manse]

“But as for me, it is good to be near God.” (Psalm 73:8)

Sometimes we want to pray, but we do not feel we have the words. We might have a book of prayers on the shelf that may help us, but even then those words of others may not bring us the comfort we desire.

One way that can help us pray when we do not feel that we have the words is to use the words of the Psalms. 

This is something that Christians have done through the centuries, indeed, before there were Christians, Jewish believers did exactly the same thing.

Take a Psalm, any Psalm. There are, after all, one-hundred and fifty of them so there is plenty of choice. 

Before you read, ask for God to fill you with his Spirit and have moment of silence.

And read it, or a portion of it (especially important if you choose Psalm 119, or even Psalm 78!). Read the Psalm through once slowly.

Take a moment of silence and ask God through his Spirit to reveal if there are words or phrases to which he wants you to pay special attention.

Read the whole passage again slowly, and again ask God the same question again.

If there is something, continue to roll those words or phrase around in your mind and heart. 

Maybe they are words that apply to your own life. To the life of someone you know. To a situation in the world. 

As you roll the words around, offer them to God as your prayer.

They are already God’s words, so they are already a good prayer.

Stay with those words or phrase for as long as you need, and then finish by thanking God and saying “Amen”.

That is all praying with the Psalms has to be about, so why not give it a go.


Yours in Christ



Minister, CBC