Praying the Psalms: Psalms 1, 2, 3

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Well here we are at the beginning of the Psalm cycle for Morning Prayer in the Daily Office Lectionary. The Psalms appointed are 1,2, and 3, but before we get started I’d like to mention a? method I find helpful for “getting into” the readings and prayer.

Lectio Divina is an old practice for interacting with Scripture. You choose a passage and read it over slowly and aloud several times. As you read allow different parts of the passage to speak to you.? If you feel silly reading aloud, do it anyway, you’ll be very surprised how reading and hearing simultaneously can make a real difference to the sense of the passage.? Start by reading each Psalm aloud two or three times then read them together two or three times. You will probably find that some portion will resonate with you more than the rest.

Now focus in on the portion that resonates with you: Ask yourself, “what kind of prayer is this? (adoration, praise, thanksgiving, penitence, oblation, intercession, or petition). How can I pray with this Psalm? What about it resonates with my condition at this hour?

For instance the portion in this reading that jumped out at me was Psalm 1:

1:1 Blessed [is] the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

I see this as being both thanksgiving and praise and can pray thanking God for his keeping of me. Alternately I could see this as a place to confess and repent of the times I have walked in the counsel of the ungodly etc.

1:2 But his delight [is] in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night

Here is oblation, offering of my time and attention to God, in response to his blessing.

1:3-1:5

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

4 The ungodly [are] not so: but [are] like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

Whether we see it in this day or in the future this is the way the world looks in God’s eyes.

1:6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

To me this was both an opportunity for thanksgiving and a petition.

Meditation: Choose some portion of your passage and keep it present to yourself throughout the day. Write it on a paper and place in your pocket, on the steering wheel of your car or in some other prominent spot.

Finally keep a journal of your praying. This is not an easy discipline and journaling can be a great encouragement. Alternately you can journal by posting in the comments section of this blog.

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