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Monday, August 13, 2012

Worship 4: How the Psalms Form the Heart of the Worshiper


Worship 4: How the Psalms Form the Heart of the Worshiper
For over a quarter century, the book of Psalms has been my most frequent devotional destination. I've got my old Bible out this morning and it's marked up with all kinds of personal thoughts and study notes.


The Psalms are rich.



Five great questions of life: Life * Love * Learning * Labor * Leadership

Life: What's My Spiritual Center?

Worship 4: How the Psalms Form the Heart of the Worshiper

By Evan Nehring

For over a quarter century, the book of Psalms has been my most frequent devotional destination. I've got my old Bible out this morning and it's marked up with all kinds of personal thoughts and study notes.
 
The Psalms are rich.
 
There have been two or three seasons of my life where for months I didn't (or couldn't) go anywhere else each day but to the Psalms. It's an ancient song book, and the lyrics still resonate.
 

The Season of David

King David wrote about half of the Psalms: 74 of 150. Other contemporaries of his wrote a bunch more: Asaph (12), the Sons of Korah (11), Solomon (2), and Ethan the Ezrahite (1). If you're counting, that's an even 100. Then there's one from Moses, back in the day, and 49 that are anonymous.
 
So this season of King David's life is a historic time of worshiping the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. This is the one area where Jesus couldn't be the model for how we are to live. He's the receiver of our worship, not the model of how to worship. So I look first to David.
 

So Many Psalms

A quick leaf through my tattered NIV shows why the Psalms pull us in.
  • Psalm 1 - The blessed man standing like a tree by streams of water
  • Psalm 2 - Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance
  • Psalm 5 - Give ear to my words, O Lord...you hear my voice
  • Psalm 8 - From the lips of children...you have ordained praise
  • Psalm 14 - You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor, but the Lord is their refuge.
  • Psalm 18 - The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock!
  • Psalm 22 - My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
  • Psalm 27 - The Lord is the stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid?
This is passionate stuff! Talking directly to God. Working through dark moments in life. Shouting praise. Declaring the awesomeness of God!

Patrick's Plan

St. Patrick of Ireland famously prayed or sang 100 Psalms a day. His work in Ireland brought the people from paganism to true faith in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Ross Castle, Killarney National Park, Kerry, Ireland by Jim on WikiMedia Commons
Psalm 27 - The Lord is the stronghold of my life
How can we tap into the great God stuff in the Psalms?
  • Reading 5 Psalms/day gets you through the book every month.
  • Adding a Psalm a day to your devotional routine get you through the book a couple times a year.
  • I like to underline and color shade the parts that jump out at me, at least in one Bible.
  • When you read verses you recognize as songs, sing 'em out!
Above all, invite the presence of God as you pour out your heart in worship and prayer. He'll blow you away!

Question

Do you have a favorite Psalm, or favorite verse in the Psalms? In what ways have the Psalms resonated with you? Helped you?


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6 comments:

  1. I love the Psalm's!
    Psalm 46:10 "He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Be Still, and know that I am God....
    Psalm 119:105 "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
    Thank you so much Evan

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  2. I believe I noted Psalm 23 in a previous post. One of the most known Psalms of them all, but for great reasons! No need to fear evil, for we have the Almighty One playing on our team :-)

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  3. Common theme in Tara's and Twooomz's comments: be still...he leads me beside still waters. The Psalms help us slow down a bit, don't they. Meditation helps bring truth from the head to the heart.

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  4. The Psalms are the heart of the Bible! It's no mistake they're right in the middle. "Shout with joy to God, all the earth! Sing to the glory of His name! Offer Him glory and praise!" (Psalm 66:1-2) (I think that's the NIV.)

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  5. Psalm 19 and 148 are wonderful Psalms

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  6. Memorized Ps 19 as a child. Both are wonderful.

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