A couple weeks ago I began a blog series on Christian life hacks. I believe that for many of us there can be a disconnect between what we know (or how we should be living) and our heart (or how we actually live). Last time I mentioned a simple way to grow one’s prayer life. It may not sound ground breaking, but we talked about keeping prayer list in your Bible. I believe that continually praying over a tangible list is a great habit that I believe will deepen your prayer life.
I wanted to spend one more week on prayer because there’s another simple practice that I believe could have a huge impact in the way you pray. You may have heard of this practice before, but have never tried it because it almost sounds too simple. So here it is: pray a Psalm. That’s right. Open your Bible, turn to the book of Psalms and start praying one of the psalms of Scripture. There are a few reasons why this will revolutionize your prayer life:
1. Sometimes we don’t know what to say. Have you ever sat down or knelt down to pray and the words just weren’t there? That’s happened to me many times. When you pray a psalm, you have the opportunity to let God’s Word be your words. I can’t tell you how many times when praying through a psalm was the perfect remedy for my soul.
2. It helps you develop a well rounded prayer life. When we first begin talking to God, many times our prayers are filled with requests. That isn’t bad, but as you pray through the Psalms, you’ll find that there are a variety of ways that the writers expressed their thoughts and feelings to God. Some are very worshipful and celebratory. Some are confessional and penitent. Others are cries for God’s justice against evil. God wants us to have a rich prayer life and to relate to Him in many different ways. The Psalms teach us how to do that.
3. You will learn what to say to God. Every psalm was written through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, but they were also birthed in the real life struggles and joys of life. Through the Psalms we learn how to talk to God about everything. I can’t tell you how many times I would pray a verse and it would just stick in my heart and I’ve continued to pray that over and over to Him. If it’s in the Bible, you know that God put it there for a reason.
So how do you pray the Psalms? It’s pretty easy. Whatever day of the month it is, begin with that Psalm and then add 30, four times to that. It will give you 5 different psalms to pick from to pray. You don’t have to pray all 5, but look them over and pray the one that seems to fit where you are in life. Let’s say tomorrow is the 18th, you can pick from Psalm 18, 48, 78, 108, and 138. There are 150 psalms, so if there are 30 days in a month, you are set. What if it’s the 31st? Just pray part of Psalm 119. I save that psalm for the 31st of any month.
Hope this helps. One of my constant prayers is that we will be a praying church. By praying the Psalms, we will definitely grow in this area.