Praying the Psalms

As you work through the "Rooted" Series it is important that our study of Scripture not become merely academic, but that we also learn how to communicate with God through prayer. The Book of Psalms was written to guide us in prayer. By praying the Psalms, we learn how to express ourselves before God through any circumstance or state of our heart: through trial, doubt, pain, loneliness, joy, betrayal, wonder, depression, longing, etc.

Here is how to pray the psalms:

  1. Select a Psalm to Pray: You can go chronologically or pick selected Psalms. I suggest going through the Psalms chronologically at first until you build up a familiarity with them.,

  2. Open your time with God by personally addressing Him. Always remember that you’re not just praying words off of a page, but you are building a relationship with the God of the universe.

  3. Read teach line of the Psalm out loud slowly, trying to understand each phrase. If you find yourself skimming or your mind becomes distracted, go back to where you got distracted and read it again.

  4. After every few verses, where there is a natural break, respond to God in prayer. Alternate between praying the words of the Psalm and praying your own prayer. Apply the words of the Psalm to the challenges that you are currently facing in your own life. Wrestle with God in prayer over the questions the Psalm raises.

  5. Search for Jesus in the Psalm: As you pray and meditate on each Psalm, think of how the Psalm was fulfilled in the life of Jesus. Use this to draw you into worship of Him.

  6. Sometimes a verse or phrase will stick out to you, underline it and memorize it by praying it to the Lord. The Spirit of God will speak through His word to you by drawing you to particular verses. When this happens, these are the verses and psalms you want to memorize.

  7. “Own” the Psalm: If there is a particular Psalm that God uses in your life do every thing you can to make it your own. Memorize it. Pray it. Make it into a song. Print it out and hang it on your wall. Share it with others. Recite it to your spouse and your kids


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