Thursday, April 9, 2015

Praying through the Psalms

Last night at our Wednesday worship gathering, we took some time to pray through Psalm 34. It was a sweet time of worship through expressing our dependence on God, but it was also instructive to those who had never practiced that method of prayer before.

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It is not complicated. You take one verse (or a couple verses that constitute a clear idea), you read it, and you use its words as a launch pad for your prayers. Its benefit is that it gives you words to pray and subjects to pray for that you normally would not think of. It focuses your heart on the glory of God more, or His beauty more, or simple praises more, or grief that you feel but don't have the words to express it. In other words, it broadens your prayer horizons past simply asking God for a laundry list of items.

Here's an example of how it works (HT):

Psalm 1:1-2 - "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night." (ESV)
Prayer - "Father, I thank you that your law and your word is good. I thank you that you have revealed yourself to us through your word. I ask that you would give me the strength not to walk in the counsel of the wicked. Help me to find my delight and satisfaction in your word. Help me to meditate on your word day and night. Open my eyes that I may understand the power of your word for my life. I also ask that my children would delight themselves in your word as they mature. I pray that they would walk in the counsel of good friends and not in the way of the wicked. Place good influences in their lives. Thank you God for the blessing that comes as a result of delighting ourselves in your law."

See how simple it is? I encourage you to practice it regularly from the Psalms, as they were written as songs/prayers originally. Let it stir your affections for the Lord and give your heart language you never knew was there. I pray that you see abundant fruit in your life out of this simple tool.