Learning To Pray The Psalms

At a recent Lifeway YouLead event, Kelly King shared a method for using the Psalms as a language for prayer.  Here’s the process…

  1. Make a numbered list from 1 – 30
  2. Find the number that corresponds to today’s date (i.e. September 16 = Psalm 16)
  3. Add 30 to each date until there are 5 numbers listed on each line. When you are finished, you should have numbers 1 – 150 in groups of 5  (i.e 1, 31, 61, 91, 121). This should give you 1 Psalm to pray every day for 5 months. For months with 31 days, choose a Psalm or a passage from a longer Psalm to use on day 31.
  4. Read the Psalm for that day.
  5. Using the language from that Psalm, say or write your prayer(s). Use personal pronouns to customize the words for your thoughts, praises and needs.
  6. If you don’t get all the way through each verse of the Psalm, that’s OK. Use whatever portion that speaks to you in your time with the Lord.

Here’s an example of what this might look like for Psalm 16…

Read Psalm 16

Lord,

Thank you for protecting me! Even today, You have kept me safe in ways I don’t even know. There are situations where You provide shelter so I know I can trust You completely.

Unfortunately, there are times when I don’t remember to trust You…I believe there are parts of my life that I can “handle alone”. Of course, I would never say that. My actions prove that’s what I think, though.

Like David, I can say ‘YOU ARE MY LORD’. None of my words are ever enough to thank you for being my creator and my savior before You became my Lord.

Lord, You are the only good thing about me. Without You, I am nothing but a sinner condemned to hell! Help me be honest about that when I am tempted to try to trust more in myself than in You.

When I am focused on You, I can’t help but be overwhelmed by how well You provide for me. Help me ALWAYS look at You first – Help me ALWAYS trust You completely – even when I don’t understand where You are leading.

Thank you for helping me “rest securely”, no matter what! Because of You, my heart can be glad, regardless of my circumstances or emotions. I want my life to point to You, above all else. Help me remember to let You guide me!

Amen.