Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Praying the Psalms: A Guide For Daily Practice

A suggested prayer practice: praying the Psalms. 

The Psalms are the poetry of the Bible–they are beautiful, often painful, and illuminate the struggle in humans to understand God and the cries in the wilderness of faith for God’s answers. We don’t always get answers that are visible from God and we spend much of our faith lives struggling in the wilderness of our own faith–like rugged backpackers. We can all relate to the lamentations and calls to God inherent in the Psalms. I am feeling drawn to think and about and talk about the Psalms this past week after an interesting beginning to a conversation with a gentleman who is in the process of writing a book on the history and contemporary relevance of the Psalms in the world.

Consider picking a Psalm for every day and meditating for even 5 minutes on its meaning to you–viscerally and emotionally. 

A Psalm for the week (one reflected on often in the contemplative tradition): 
 Psalm 46:10 (NIV)
He says, “Be still and know that I am God;I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” 
Read through these three lines (in your head or out loud) three times and then taking 5 minutes in silence to reflect. This is a daily contemplative practice you can try–with this Psalm or any. Give it a shot this week–see how it feels. Maybe even journal the experience and at the end of the week you can see how your experience evolves over time–in communion with this poetry for God.

You can get A Psalm App Here titled “The One Year Book of Psalms” or search for your own app (there are a number of options on itunes).

Read More about the Psalms on Wikipedia Here.

If you try this practice come back and discuss how it was. Have you prayed the Psalms before? What is your prayer practice? Is there a Psalm that you feel a special affinity for? Why?

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