Praying the Psalms

I don’t know what it is, but I can never seem to comment at Conversion Diary! Maybe Jen put me in her “Always Delete” category, or her spam filter hates me. How can this be? 🙂 So, I’ll post my response here at my own site. Jen was talking about her experience with praying the psalms and asking for advice on how to approach them.

Psalms are supposed to represent the gamut of human emotion. So, if God let them be put into the Bible, it must be okay to feel this way upon occasion; and, this is the instruction manual for how to pray when we are experiencing these emotions.

I am continually amazed by how similar our life stories are, so I’ll give a few things that (sometimes) help me. 🙂

First, I try to empathize with the narrator. I try to identify what emotion he’s experiencing and place myself in that situation.

Second, I have to do some translating. God dealt with His people differently in OT times than in NT times, where Jesus is trying to soften our hearts. So whereas before the rule for enemies was “an eye for an eye” to try and prevent overabundant retribution, now we are to “love our enemies.” We have to keep that in mind when we read them.

For your psalm, then, I would picture myself as being (unfairly) mocked and scorned by my enemies and be comforted in the fact that while they are troubling me now, in time, God will make things right for me and the truth about me will emerge. Instead of me trying to smite them, I just have to trust that God has my back and the He will take care of the situation. I just have to be faithful and keep doing what is right in His eyes. And not worry about them.

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