5 suggestions for praying the Psalms
• Read the psalm slowly, a phrase at a time. Not every phrase will strike you at the moment. If not, simply move on.
When a particular phrase speaks to you, stay there. Always stay where there's fruit. Repeat the phrase several times. Pause and reflect. What thoughts and feelings does this move in you? What is the Lord showing you?
• Stay with this phrase. Let the psalm put your feeling into words. Express it honestly: Yell at God. Complain about your friend. Cry out against injustice. Give praise.
• Move on when you feel the Spirit has moved on. Repeat this process as phrases stand out for you. Don't feel you must go through the whole psalm. The purpose is not to "cover the psalm" but to meet God.
• When you feel that your time with the psalm is over, respond to God in whatever way is appropriate. It might be praise, questioning or just "Amen."
Tuesday, 7:45 a.m.: Prayerbook in hand, I head to the chapel. Taking my usual place in the second row on the north side, I sit, make the sign of the cross and open the book. Finding the psalm appointed for the day, I look up ... and sigh.
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