Bring Depth to Your Prayer Life: Four Ways to Pray The Psalms

By Rebecca Duff

There are so many ways and methods in which to pray, but sometimes we can get in a rut. Do you ever find yourself getting a little tired of praying the ‘grocery list’ of needs?

Sometimes our hearts need a spiritual injection to add depth and richness to our prayers. One way to do this, is to turn a Psalm into a prayer. There is no situation or human emotion that hasn’t been experienced somewhere in the Psalms. You can immerse yourself in the Psalms, and turn them into rich prayers. The Psalms also lend themselves to teach our hearts how to pray in accordance with God’s character and will.

Do you realize that Jesus would have actually sung and prayed the Psalms through his entire life?

As you consider a particular psalm, imagine how he would have thought about it, knowing who he was and what he came to do.

Here are four easy ways to pray a Psalm:

  1. Verbatim: simply pray the words as they are. Psalm 90 works well as an example.
  2. Paraphrase: this involves rephrasing and personalizing a Psalm. You can change the meanings of some words to fit your life. For example: “Deliver me from my enemies” could be paraphrased as: deliver me from being impatient with my children (or any other area that you may be struggling with)
  3. Responsive praying: Take a look at some of the longer Psalms, where it is more a ‘teaching’ format. In this case, look for themes such as: adoration, confession or supplication, and then include that into your prayer. The theme will often lead your heart into deeper, sweeter time with God. 
  4. Messianic Psalms: There are a number of obvious Psalms that give a rich view of Christ. See which ones describe the Messiah, and contemplate the greatness and beauty of Jesus to adore and rest in Him.

I challenge you to include a Psalm into your prayer life once a week to start, see what riches it will unlock when you learn to pray the Psalms.

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