On the Psalms…

The Psalms were/are the prayerbook of Israel and were/are the prayerbook of Christ’s Church.  I believe they should be in the daily lives and spoken from the mouths of God’s People.  Why?  Because they were so for Jesus.  They are His prayers and because we are His people, we can get His words into our mouths.

One of the most transformational disciplines I have ever experienced was daily praying Psalms.  That doesn’t mean I give up on my extemporaneous praying – prayers that spring up from my own heart.  Far from it.  In fact, praying prayers that aren’t “mine” (the Psalms) actually helps to make me a better pray-er without them.

I really advocate daily praying (not just reading) of the Psalms.  This was almost certainly Christ’s practice.   The Psalms are all about Jesus!  And He was/is all about the Psalms!  Here’s some quotes by others to back that up:

Jesus himself quoted and referenced the Psalms in the manner of someone who had been accustomed to praying a pondering them from his earliest days.   N T Wright, The Case for the Psalms, page 14.

Jesus was an only son,*
In the hills of Nazareth,
As he lay reading the Psalms of David,
At his mother’s feet.    
Bruce Springsteen, Jesus Was An Only Son

The prayers of David were prayed also by Christ.  Or better, Christ himself prayed them through his forerunner David…  To be sure, the one who prays his Psalms remains himself.  But in him and through him it is Christ who prays.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Psalms:  The Prayer Book of the Bible, page 9.

 

*  As a Protestant I am under no obligation to believe Jesus didn’t have younger half-siblings (like the Scriptures state) but this is neither the time nor the place to argue with the Boss!

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