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Praying the Psalms

Today’s Reflection

THE PSALMS are the prayers of God’s people, the Jews. And Christians, from the beginning, have seen in the Psalms signposts pointing to the life of Jesus. The Gospel writers refer to the Psalms often to make sense of Jesus’ own life, and today we use the Psalms throughout the church year to point us to events in his life.

Jesus himself, hanging on the cross, cried out the words of Psalm 22, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (v.1), and ever since Christians have seen in the Psalms intimations of Jesus’ life.

When I sing to my daughter before bed “The King of Love My Shepherd Is,” I’m using a song based on Psalm 23 to tell her about Jesus, who, as she already knows, is the shepherd of Psalm 23. The Psalms point forward to Jesus; Jesus fulfills the Psalms. Through the Psalms, Jesus can be our Teacher.

– L. Roger Owens
What We Need Is Here

From page 42 of What We Need Is Here: Practicing the Heart of Christian Spirituality by L. Roger Owens. Copyright © 2015 by L. Roger Owens. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Do you turn draw upon the Psalms as a resource during your prayer time? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you….

1 Peter 3:14-15, NRSV

This Week: pray for your enemies. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: Isidore the Farmer (May 15).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2017 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Jill May 18, 2017, 3:52 am

    The book of Psalms is my most consistent “go to” in Scripture. So many favorites, so many options to form into breath prayers. And have a couple of resources on the Psalms that are also treasured.
    Grateful for a good night’s sleep following a long day yesterday. Grateful that the days continue to tick down at school. Many teachers are very weary. Grateful that the two classes which remain with me continue to work hard, even though we are nearing the end. The one class in particular is working through some difficult material – but continues to make a steadfast effort – and they are clearly impressed with themselves for beginning to master the material. I am grateful that they accept the challenges I place before them and are willing to engage the struggle.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling May 18, 2017, 6:27 am

    I love the book of psalms and use phrases from it to pray.

    Thank you God for the book of psalms where we discover who you are.

    You are awesome, God! I praise You!

  • robert moeller May 18, 2017, 6:57 am

    I find the book of Psalms very uplifting and helpful. When I am down and weary psalms revive me, pick me up. Yes, Lord, thank You for psalms.

    Thankful for resources to put food on the table, thankful that Erich is a good
    cook. It was a warm day here yesterday, almost 90. After temps in the 50s-60s, that was a heat wave, we expect more warm weather for a couple days and then go back to the 50s and 60s. Despite the warm weather walks are possible.

    More interviews coming up, should be hearing from earlier interviews soon.

    Will gather with my high school classmates in August to celebrate our 70th birthdays.

    Thank you for your prayers for me and Erich as we transition. Anneliese is making progress keeping the house for sale in shape and getting medical treatment. Am thankful for a welcoming church where I feel accepted. A picnic with a sister church this Sunday and a long tradition, sugar on snow, over the Memorial Day weekend.

    Prayers for enemies, may they come to know, accept, and love God and become enemies no more. Prayers for the US as our government deals with a crisis. Blessings to the UR family, a help in time of need, a wonderful fellowship. Thank You, Lord.

  • Betsy May 18, 2017, 7:04 am

    The Psalms offer such a range of emotions. There are times I’ve turned to them during sadness and loss, but also grace and happiness. Having sung in a church choir for much of my life, so many of the Psalms have shaped our anthems over the years. I can recall tunes many times when reading passages the Psalms.
    Grateful for the continued planning of our women’s retreat coming up in September. Thankful so many women have agreed to serve on this team. Praying for those ladies who have been impacted by incarceration who might join us. Spring weather is here, sun and showers and green. Thank you, Lord, for all.

  • Gail Churchill May 18, 2017, 7:13 am

    More often I recall Psalm 23 in times of conflict, thou preparest a table before me, in the presence of mine enemies. Sitting at the table is a good thing.

  • Julie May 18, 2017, 7:43 am

    I find in the psalms the comfort and reassurance that it is acceptable to approach God no matter my state of mind. In times of joy, sorrow, despair, pain, and even doubt God accepts my heartfelt prayers. Ican even rant against and argue with God. All are represented in the Psalms.
    Thank you God for the Psalms and the UR family
    God’s blessings to all

    • Gail Churchill May 18, 2017, 1:23 pm

      Julie, I will pray for you and your family. My niece once told me it’s hard to stay mad with someone you pray for, referring to spouses. Persist.

  • Andrea May 18, 2017, 1:17 pm

    I also love the Psalms. I often inwardly recite Psalm 23 and Psalm 121. I once had a co-worker who read five Psalms every day, and in doing so, she went through all the Psalms every month.

    As a religious prayer community, the Benedictine sisters in the monastery close by sing Psalms from their lectionary several times daily in a call and response manner. The services are open to the public. In the past, when challenged by stress, I frquently attended the monastery’s early morning service. I have marveled at how the sisters’ lives are deeply imbued by the Psalms, from the decades of their living and praying the Psalms together in community. Sitting among that small community, I perceived how second nature it is for them to pray the Psalms. Many of the sisters are elderly now, but the fruit of their lifetime of service is all around the vicinity. A children’s day care, a home for domestic abuse victims, housing for retirees, the establishment of a highly-regarded high school, a donation of conservation land for a nature park, an art gallery on-site at the monastery’s Benedictine Center, programmed retreats and spiritual direction through out the year, and a nursing home for their own, the sisters who can no longer live independently. It is profound for me to contemplate that those gentle, devoted sisters, who have done so much and lived lives of such goodness, pray the full range of emotions found in the Psalms – several times each day! I theorize they are deeply human, just like us.

    Enemy is a strong word. I pray for those with whom it is difficult for me to get along. I also think “enemy” can be something within oneself, a characteristic that does not serve oneself or others well. The word compassion comes to mind, having compassion for those who hurt us as well as having compassion for oneself.

    Wishing all a blessed day.

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