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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Praying the psalms

Thomas Merton has written:

"If there is one theme that is certainly to be found implicitly or explicitly in all the Psalms, it is the motif of Psalm 1:1: "Blessed be the man who follows not the counsel of the ungodly...but his delight is in the law of the Lord."

If there is one experience to which the Psalms all lead in one way or another, it is precisely this: delight in the law of the Lord, peace in the will of God. This is the foundation on which the psalmists build their edifice of praise.

There is not one who does not seek peace. The Psalms are sometimes anguished, sometimes tormented, turbulent, warlike, defiant, yet they all in end in peace, or show us that the way to peace is in confidence in the Strong Living God who is far above the struggles and tempests of earth, and who, nevertheless, descends on the wings of the whirlwind to rescue his elect.

There is therefore one fundamental religious experience which the Psalms can all teach us: the peace that comes from submission to God's will and from perfect confidence in him."

Good words for a Tuesday. I encourage all of us, in times of need, to take a Psalms and pray it, preferably out loud.

There is such a spiritual release and an emotional drainage that comes from praying the prayers of someone who has "been there, done that".

Let me take one of David's Psalms and use it as an example and pray it with you. I just opened my Bible and am going to pray the Psalm that I opened up to.

Psalms 121:

"During my time of need, I go to the one place where I know I can receive help, Lord, from you. My help comes from you Lord, for you have everything under control, you are the maker of heaven and earth. I thank you that you are not going to let me fall, you watch over me continually, for which I am grateful. You never sleep, Lord, and that knowledge really helps me. Any time the heat comes by day, or the cold by night, problems that come night and day, you are there to keep me from all harm. Thank you for watching over my life and for being with me all day - every day."

May we all be blessed as we pray the Psalms together.

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