Why Pray the Psalms?
The psalms are the prayer book of the Bible. These are prayers and songs that were written by Israelites to be used in worship and prayer by Israelites. We see one example of this in Jonah. In his story, when he prayed in the belly of the fish, his prayer was simply a pastiche of sentences and phrases from various psalms (Jonah 2). When Daniel prayed three times each day (6:10), he likely prayed various psalms as part of his prayers.
Jesus himself would have sung and prayed these psalms. When he sung a hymn before going to the Mount of Olives with his disciples, it is likely the hymn was based upon a psalm (Mark 14:26). These are prayers that the apostles would have prayed during the appointed times of prayers that they participated in (Acts 3:1). In the early church, Christians were encouraged to sing psalms to one another (Ephesians 5:19).
There is an abundance of scriptural testimony that encourages us to use the psalms in worship and prayer, not to mention the tradition of church history that has continued to use the psalms in worship and prayer.
Yet, this is a tradition that many of us are unaware of. Those of you who worship at the Otisville Church of Christ realize that we have been reading through the Psalter in our worship service. At the end of this series, I will encourage you to begin including some psalms in your regular prayer and devotional time. It's easy to start, and I will include some suggestions at the end of the article. But first, in part two, I will share seven things I have learned over the past year through praying the psalms. Finally, in part three, I will discuss how to pray the psalms.