I recently read Walter Brueggemann’s Praying the Psalms: Engaging Scripture and the Life of the Spirit. It was fabulous! The Book of Psalms has long been one of my favorite books in the Bible. Maybe because I love poetry and music, and psalms can be simply defined as a sacred song or poem. Maybe because the Psalms show the range of human emotions, and we can turn to them with whatever feelings we have and find the authors felt that way too. Brueggemann explains, “Praying the Psalms depends upon two things: (1) what we find when we come to the Psalms that is already there; and (2) what we bring to the Psalms out of our own lives.” (pg. 17)
Consider some of these verses from the Psalms. Take your time. Read them slowly.
Sit with what the words mean to you. How do you feel when you read them?
– “I’m worn out from groaning.
Every night, I drench my bed with tears;
I soak my couch all the way through.”
– “I exalt you, Lord, because you pulled me up;
you didn’t let my enemies celebrate over me.
Lord, my God, I cried out to you for help,
and you healed me.”
– “What is to be gained by my spilled blood, by my going down into the pit?
Does dust thank you?
Does it proclaim your faithfulness?”
– “Where could I go to get away from your spirit?
Where could I go to escape your presence?
If I went up to heaven, you would be there.
If I went down to the grave, you would be there too!”
– “Let every living thing praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!”
Should you ever find yourself in a spiritual funk or struggling with something life has thrown at you, turning to the Psalms may help.
As Brueggemann reminds us, “The Psalms do not insist that we follow word-for-word and line-by-line, but they intend us to have great freedom to engage our imagination toward the Holy God.” (pg. 27) I just love that. The invitation to engage our imagination toward God. Just something to think about this week.
Thursday Thoughts 6/24/21
Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash