Searchers – The Psalms
A mirror was held up to illustrate that when we read the Psalms, it’s like looking into one. We can: see who we are; remember a sadness; release a joy; present ourselves honestly to God and see the shape of our souls and the curve of sin.
Psalms are poems and prayers. Poems use language with intensity and the Psalms can expose and sharpen what it means to be a human being before God.
We can pray the Psalms. When reading them, the question is,
‘How do I answer God who speaks with me?’
The Psalms train us in answering God.
We read the Psalms to discover what it means to be a person before God. They help us explore all parts of our life – guilt, anger, salvation and praise.
We unpacked and explored Psalm 1, using a series of questions from Eugene Peterson’s book “Psalms Prayers of the Heart”. The main image is of a tree. In contrast to chaff, a tree has roots, takes in water, grows and bears fruit. We need to be ‘heavy’ by being rooted in God’s love, rather than living a life without acknowledging God.
We can bring everything to God in prayer, all aspects of our life. We can also include God in our daily life by treat others as God would want us to.
Christians have always seen prayer as one element in a two-part rhythm: God speaks to us in scripture, we answer him in prayer. The slow, leisurely “listening-reading” of the Bible can’t be overemphasised as preparation for prayer. Psalms help to bring us to attention and wean ourselves from “distractions” so that we can respond to God and his word.
Psalm 119 (the longest Psalm!) is a great one to meditate on. We can read short sections before we respond in prayer to God.
Also, have a read of Denise’s favourite Psalm - Psalm 91.