Story> Praying the Psalms

Although I always knew the psalms were there, I only began to read them regularly about a year after my first husband died, leaving me with two young children. Friends had dragged me off to a church ‘Weekend Away’.

I don’t remember either the name of the guest speaker or the theme of the sessions, but I do remember that he encouraged us to read the Psalms on a regular basis. I have read a psalm every day since. Usually alongside my regular Bible study with notes, but sometimes it was the only thing I had time for.

I have grown to love those Psalms, for there is always something there for me – whether I am rejoicing, sad, frustrated or grieving. When I have felt unable to read or pray anything else I have prayed the Psalms and I have always found relevance and comfort. So many parts are underlined in my Bible, that they alone would be a lifetime of help, though some, in particular, regularly spring to mind and bring instant peace and thanksgiving to me and people I may be seeking to help.

Psalm 70 is all underlined as I so often turned to God in despair when I felt I couldn’t cope with young children and a full-time job. Especially the last verse – ‘I am poor and needy; come quickly to me, O God, You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay.’ The first nine verses of Psalm 37 are often on my mind and when I was regularly battering at the doors of heaven for the salvation of my children God gave me verse 4 especially. ‘Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.’ The desire of every mother’s heart is that her children should know the Lord. He promises me that – all I have to do is delight myself in the Him. Of course, my second name should be Thomas, for I still worry – not only for my children, but now for my grandchildren – so with infinite love and patience God recently gave me another special verse from the psalms – Psalm 102, verse 28 – ‘The children of your servants will live in your presence; their descendants will be established before you.’ I’ve written ‘Hallelujah’ in red beside that one.

When my son died I read Psalm 23 day after day. I knew it should help, though it was meaningless at first, as was my whole life. But gradually the Lord drew me out of the worst despair and the Psalm helped me enormously. Psalm 73 verses 21 to 25 became precious too and still remain so – ‘When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.’

I could go on. I could tell the joy of praying Psalm 91 – did you know God’s angels take care of you? But why not start praying the Psalms for yourself on a regular basis? I assure you it will bring peace, delight, comfort, challenge and much, much more. To Him be the glory.
Polly Graham.


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