PRAYING THE PSALMS


“O Lord, why are they multiplied that afflict me? Many rise up against me. Many say unto my soul: There is no salvation for him in his God. But you, O Lord, are my helper, my glory and the lifter up of my head. I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy mountain. I laid me down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord will help me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people that set themselves against me round about…” (Ps 3: 1-6, Septuagint-translation)


How very sincere are the psalms, giving voice not only to the “highs” of our faith-journey, but also to the “lows.” Praying the Psalms teaches me to open up to God, and to speak to Him from the bottom of my heart, in a way that would perhaps even sound a bit “extreme” to any merely-human interlocutor. Psalm 3, for example (quoted above), teaches me that it is OK to bring before God the kind of feelings expressed there toward fellow-human beings, like being extremely afflicted and overwhelmed by them; and more importantly, that such a conversation with God does “lift up my head” out of that rut.


So let me let God into the picture of any “highs” or “lows” I may be experiencing today, in my relationships with other people. With God in the picture, I can “lay me down and sleep,” rather than lose sleep to thoughts or fears in my own head, “for the Lord will help me.” Glory be to Him.

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