The Deep Well of the Psalms

“Immersing ourselves in the Psalms and turning them into prayers teaches our hearts the ‘grammar’ of prayer and gives us the most formative instruction in how to pray in accord with God’s character and will.”~~Tim Keller

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“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”~~Epictetus (BrainyQuote)

Today’s word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is unclubbable, “having or showing a disinclination for social activity : unsociable.” Everyone’s got that friend, right? Or perhaps some of us are that friend . . .

Today is Maple Syrup Day. That makes my mouth water, just thinking about it! Pancakes and syrup sound really good right now!

As I read that quote of the day, this morning, my thoughts were taken back to something that happened to me last night, on the way home from work. It was one of the worst trips home ever, taking close to two hours for a trip that normally only takes one. So I was already in a bad mood. At this one particular juncture, I was turning left at an intersection of three main streets. A woman ran the red light. And not by just a little bit. Let’s just say that I reacted quite poorly, and leave it at that. I felt quite ashamed, later, realizing that I had acted very un-Christlike. So, yeah. “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” I could have made a better choice, but I chose to get angry.

On a lighter note, it’s pre-Friday! And I’m getting really excited about the Yuleslide event Saturday morning. It’s been thirty-five years since I have played in a “trombone choir.” This is going to be great fun!

I almost forgot. My mother got back from her church trip to Marshall, and she had a marvelous time. One of the best blessings was that her twin brother came and visited her and spent the day with them on Tuesday. Here is a picture of them, taken by the lady who organized this trip and drove them out there.

Uncle Buddy and Mama

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God)

Today, I come to a section called “Praying the Psalms.” This has been alluded to several times during the course of reading this book, and one of the books that Tim Keller frequently refers to is Eugene Peterson’s book Answering God: The Psalms As Tools For Prayer. In this segment, he also refers to another book, by T.M. Moore, called God’s Prayer Program: Passionately Using the Psalms in Prayer.

Anyone who knows me very well knows that I love the Psalms. I have believed, for many years, that it is no accident that they fall in the middle of our Bibles (unless you have one of those huge reference Bibles with hundreds of pages of resources in the back, in which case Revelation is in the “middle”).

We know from history that the early Church used Psalms as a “prayer book.” A fourth-century African theologian named Athanasius wrote, in a letter, “Whatever your particular need or trouble, from this same book [the Psalms] you can select a form of words to fit it, so that you . . . learn the way to remedy your ill.” He wrote further that the Psalms can teach us to praise God, repent for our sins, and give thanks to God. He concludes, “Under all the circumstances of life, we shall find that these divine songs suit ourselves and meet our own souls’ need at every turn.”

No truer words have e’er been spoken. Keller says, “Immersing ourselves in the Psalms and turning them into prayers teaches our hearts the ‘grammar’ of prayer and gives us the most formative instruction in how to pray in accord with God’s character and will.”

Tomorrow, I will begin examining ways in which we can do this.

Father, I thank you and praise you for the Psalms. They have meant so much to me in my prayer times and Bible reading times. I pray that they will become even more important to me, going forward, and that others can discover this deep well of spirit and devotion that is contained in them.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

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