What is prayer, what are the Psalms, what do these have to do with my spiritual life, and how can I possibly “pray the Psalms?” These are the questions we wrestle through in this week’s sermon.
I’ll let you listen to through it to get your bearings, but as a thought provoking guide to use in walking forward into deeper contemplation of the Psalms, I offer the words of pastor and theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. In his little book, Psalms, the Prayerbook of the Bible, Bonhoeffer points our attention resolutely toward Jesus Christ, the true author and truest subject of the Psalms. He writes;
“If we want to read and to pray the prayers of the Bible, and especially the Psalms, we must not, therefore, first ask what they have to do with us, but what they have to do with Jesus Christ. We must ask how we can understand the Psalms as God’s Word, and only then can we pray them with Jesus Christ. Thus it does not matter whether the Psalms express exactly what we feel in our heart at the moment we pray. Perhaps it is precisely the case that we must pray against our own heart in order to pray rightly. It is not just that for which we ourselves want to pray that is important, but that for which God wants us to pray… It is important for us that even David prayed not only out of the personal raptures of his heart, but from the Christ dwelling in him. To be sure, the one who prays these psalms, David, remains himself; but Christ dwells in him and with him.”
In next weeks post, we will begin to look at some of the specific ways the various subject matter of the Psalms can be clearly seen in light of Jesus. Until then, happy Easter… HE IS RISEN!
Our Podcast can be found on: