Saturday 10 October 2015

Praying the Psalms

Click on the list to the right to view each Psalm prayed ->

When my Christian life was going well, I was a dipper. I would dip into the Book of Psalms. I would flick through looking for an upbeat psalm to cheer me up and help me worship God. From time to time I would read psalms, and to be honest, I found some of them troubling. Some seemed vindictive and vengeful. Others seemed irrelevant to me and others were just depressing. If I am honest, I don't think I liked about half of the psalms.

Then I went through a time of overwhelming struggle in my life and to make matters worse my prayer life dried up. I longed for more of Jesus, and wanted to know him and follow him as he really is, (not merely as I'd like him to be), but he seemed so distant from me. I knew Jesus had come to fulfil all the scriptures, so I went hunting for him in the Book of Psalms. As I started praying through each Psalm, I found myself constantly brought back to the New Testament, then to the rest of the Bible. Slowly, every single Psalm started to reveal more and more of Jesus and my need for him. If I had only ever read the New Testament, I would have never found Jesus as I found him when I brought both the Book of Psalms and the New Testament together. I finally discovered that the Book of Psalms is all about Jesus and everything that is important to him.

The 150 Psalms prayed that you'll find on the blog are definitely not intended to replace the Book of Psalms in your Bible. They are just Christian prayers that unite the Book of Psalms with the New Testament. I have tried to keep each one as close as possible to the wording of the 1984 NIV in both the Book of Psalms and New Testament, but I have changed some of the words and added a few phrases to make each Gospel Psalm understandable, relevant to life in the 21st Century, and most of all, to make them pray-able.

May every one of these prayed Psalms enrich your prayer life, draw you closer to Jesus, drive you back to the Bible, and help you to live in this world for Christ's glory.

Rory McClure
Pastor, Parkside Evangelical Church
Littlehampton, West Sussex, England

Tips for praying the Psalms

I have normally used “I” and “me” throughout these Gospel Psalms, which I hope will help you grow in intimacy with Christ. He must save you as an individual, and you have to respond to him as an individual. Some times I’ve used “we” and “us” to remind us that we are a part of the Church, the body of Christ. Our brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the world are praying and praising God as we pray. Let’s join them! You could also try praying these Gospel Psalms with others, in small groups or in your church, and swap “I” and “me” for “we” and “us” as you pray.

You may also find that some of the Gospel Psalms of suffering don’t suit your mood or your personal circumstances at the time. Pray them anyway. Use them to help Christ turn you into a more compassionate person. They will also prepare you for tougher times ahead. You can also use them to pray for others. If the Gospel Psalm says something like “Lord Jesus, I am suffering” change it to something like, “Lord Jesus, my friend Keith is suffering…”

Finally, the 150 Gospel Psalms have been divided up into 191 parts, as the longer Gospel Psalms have subheadings. This means that if you pray a Gospel Psalm or one section of a longer Gospel Psalm each day, (or three subsections of Gospel Psalm 119), you’ll pray through all 150 Gospel Psalms twice a year.