Prayer, Worship and the Psalms:
“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.” (James 5:13).
Have you ever gone to pray and found that you just couldn’t find the words to express your heart to God? If you have, then you’re not alone. Eugene Peterson (who wrote the Message paraphrase of the Bible) says, “Most Christians for most of the Christian centuries have learned to pray by praying the Psalms…The Psalms are the school for people learning to pray.” Martin Luther said, “It is therefore easy to understand why the Book of Psalms is the favourite book of all the saints. For every man on every occasion can find in it psalms which fit his needs, which he feels to be appropriate as if they had been set there just for his sake.”
Two days ago, I talked about the benefits of reading through the book of Proverbs daily – to receive practical wisdom for living the day-to-day affairs of life on Earth. Today, I want to show you the blessing that the book of Psalms provides for us as Christians – to help us to express our heart to God in worship and prayer. In Psalms, you will find an expression of every emotion you’ve ever felt – joy, anger, praise, repentance, thankfulness, sadness, fear, hope, trust, and even doubt. When you don’t know what to say when you pray, turn to the book of Psalms for help.
A SAMPLE OF THE PRAYERS AND SONGS IN THE BOOK OF PSALMS:
- 5 – a prayer for guidance
- 6 – a prayer of faith in time of distress
- 23 – the Lord the Shepherd of His people
- 34 – the happiness of those who trust in God
- 42 – hungry for God in a time of trouble
- 51 – a prayer of repentance and confession of sin
- 88 – a prayer for help in time of depression
- 91 – safety of abiding in the presence of God
- 95 – a call to worship and obedience
- 100 – a song of praise for the Lord’s faithfulness
- 121 – God the help of those who seek Him
- 150 – let everyone praise the Lord
Read through the Psalms. Meditate on them – think about what they mean. Then pray them back to God. When you read “The Lord is my shepherd” in Psalm 23, say to the Lord, “I’m so thankful that you’re my Shepherd, Lord. I’m so glad that as one of your sheep, I can recognize your voice, and follow you. Thank you for watching over me.” When it says, “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His faithful love endures forever.” then take a moment and thank God for His faithful love and wonderful goodness that never ends.
Pastor Chris Jordan