This summer, I’m reading through the book of Psalms. Loving it! Here are a couple of things I’ve learned from studying them this summer:

The Psalms were a prayer book for the Hebrews, who had several centuries of a head start on us in matters of prayer and worship.

In the original Hebrew, the prayers of Psalms were earthy and rough, not genteel or cultured. They were polished up in future English translations.

Prayer is intended to be elemental, not advanced, language. It is meant to be the means by which we get everything in our lives out in the open before God.

The collection of Psalms spanned centuries. Did you know there’s even one written by Moses? (Check out Psalm 90.)

Many psalms were set to music and used during worship.

Unquestionably, the Psalms are meant to show us how to have a relationship with God. Nothing is off limits. Anger, outrage, envy, feeling abandoned, forgotten, praise, love. They’re vivid utterances from passionate people!

If you feel a little distanced from God, or need to boost your prayer life, read through some of the Psalms. I’m using “The Message” by Eugene Peterson this summer.

Getting started in learning to pray is easy enough. The impulse to pray is deep within us, at the very center of our created being, and so practically anything will do to get us started.

In fact, “Help” and “Thanks!” are a great place to start.

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