All of you who know me know that I love the Psalms. I read them. I pray them. I sing them. I study them. I write my own versions of them. I listen to other people read them. 

It helps us to grasp the meaning of the ancient prayers when we see them as that: ancient prayers. They were kept for us to read, to pray, to study, to sing, to repeat. The illustrations and images in the Psalms should remain what they were intended to be. The petitions should be that. The praise and worship should be that. The prayerful releases of anger should be that.  

Visit the Palms this week. As I often write and say, visit them slowly. Not in a hurry. Not in a quick read. Study them and pray them. Read them slowly and sing them sincerely. 

Know the biblical intent of the poems. 

Know what they bring to you and what they help you release to God. 

Begin with this prayer. I spoke on it recently. It touched me in my congregation so deeply that I spoke about it again. I could not leave it alone because it would not leave me alone. 

Read it and pray it today. 

And again tomorrow.

[1] The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. [2] Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. [3] They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. [4] Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. [5] It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. [6] It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth. [7] The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. [8] The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. [9] The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. [10] They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. [11] By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward. [12] But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. [13] Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression. [14] May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:1-14, NIV)