The Psalms

The psalms we have all read them, but do we really understand them?  I know I sure had not until…

A few months ago I offered to lead a breakout session at a women’s conference.  I decided to speak about the psalms.  I had done a similar session several years, so I thought I would get it out and brush it up and be good.  But God had other plans.  As I look through my materials and considered what to do, the focus of my session changed…from just a discussion about the psalms in general to specifically learning how to pray through a psalm.  My hope was women could take the principles from the session and apply them to other psalms on their own.  So started my summer adventure in the psalms.

So I started reading studying psalms by applying the inductive study principles.  All I can say is WOW!  Studying the psalms this way certainly helped me to better understand the psalms and begin to pray them and apply them to my life.

First you need to know what the psalm says

You do this by reading the psalm, several times until you become familiar with the ideas and images presented.  I suggest that you read the psalm aloud at least once, of course you could sing it 🙂

I also find it helpful to mark the key words and phrases.  These are often repeated.  Identifying the keys words and phrases help unlock the meaning of the psalm.

Then you need to understand what the psalm means

You can do this by looking up in a dictionary any unfamiliar words or by reading other verses in the bible that using the same word or phrase.

Another helpful tip is to figure out the structure of the psalm.  By this I mean the flow of ideas or emotions in the psalm.

Now you are about ready to pray the psalm

At this point I suggest you read a section of the psalm, then pray it personalizing it to your life, your situation.

Then pause and listen for God to speak to your heart, before you move on to the next section of the psalm.

Finally I would encourage you to write down when you learn about the psalm as you studied through it and then write down your words as you prayed through the psalm.

Under the Resource tab I have uploaded the materials from my session.  You may find it helpful to read the example of the psalm I gave using the inductive study principles.  If you do or have any questions, please contact me.  If you make a comment, I will respond.

I pray the psalms will take on a whole new meaning in your life, as they have in mine this summer.


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