Skip to content

Why meditate on the Psalms – part 4

17 July 2013

PrayerThis is the fourth post in a short series looking at the importance of the Psalms in the devotional life of the believer and in the worship life of a church. We are currently looking at the Psalms in our church so…why meditate on the Psalms?

(4) Jesus’ prayer book

Jesus’ disciples once asked him – Lord teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples to pray (Luke 11.2), and Jesus told them the Lord’s prayer.  I have always wondered if Jesus ever thought of saying: “have you never read the Psalms? That is my prayer book – that should be your prayer book. Go and read and learn and meditate and use those Psalms to pray”.

You see the Psalms (along with Lamentations and other poetic bits) are different from every other book in the bible in that they are NOT God’s word to us, but rather God’s words for us! They are not so much God speaking to us; they are words God has given us to speak to him.

And that is why the Psalms have often been referred to as “God’s prayer book”, because they are a collection of songs and prayers that God has given us so that we can speak to him. God has given us a way of expressing ourselves, a way of communicating to him – a groove we can run down in all circumstances of life that mean we end up connecting with him.

Just think about this! For 100s, in fact 1000s of years, the people of God – right back to the time of David and in every century since have used the Psalms in order to pray to God, to know God, to express and process their emotions, in order to deepen their relationship with God, in order to relate to God and speak to God through all seasons of life, in order to feed our souls along the journey from the desert to the promise land. Well trodden grooves, that are tried and tested, and have been used time and time again by the People of God to connect with God…INCLUDING JESUS!

The CrossWhat did Jesus do in his darkest hour when he wanted to speak to his father? What did Jesus do when he wanted to express his emotions as his enemies killed him without reason? What did Jesus do to have communion with God as the nails were being thrust through his arms? What did Jesus do when we wanted to pray in God-forsaken darkness on the cross? He went straight to the Psalms – because he knew that within the Psalms contained the words he needed to express himself in that moment and the words he needed to pray to God.

“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me” (Ps 22.1 & Matt 27.46)

“Father into your hands I commit my spirit” (Ps 31.5 & Luke 23.46)

“I thirst” (Ps 69.21 & John 19.28)”

And no doubt the hymn that he and his disciples sang at the end of the last supper (Mark 14.26) was one of the traditional Passover Psalms, which were sung dispersed throughout the Jewish meal (Psalms 114-118).

At the point of greatest anguish, Jesus turned to the Psalms for his prayer to connect with God, to express his emotions and to ensure he kept on trusting God. He used the words God had given him – he ran down the grooves that would lead him forward.

So we too should meditate on the Psalms because Jesus is our example.

Part 5 tomorrow

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: