Most mornings, I read one of the psalms as part of my daily devotions.
Many people think of the psalms as nothing but encouragement and empathy for people who are looking for God’s help or need encouragement. That is only part of the function of this prayer book of the Old Testament. If one spent time daily, without skipping any of the psalms, one would hear the whole gospel of God communicated through these challenging and beautiful prayers.
Let me share one example of how deeply personal the psalms can be. Consider these words from Psalm 55:
If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it;
if a foe were rising against me, I could hide.
But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend,
with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God,
as we walked about among the worshipers. (55:12-14)
I think all of us can recount friendships that used to be close and no longer are. When I first encountered this in Psalm 55, I was deeply touched. I had no clue the Psalms could get so real. And notice – the close friendship David laments is with someone with whom he worshiped.
Scripture is constantly speaking to us if we are willing to take the time to read and listen to what it is saying to us. If you do not already have a regular devotional practice, I want to encourage you to consider reading the Psalms; one psalm per day. Over the course of one year you can read the whole book two times. Along the way you will recognize psalms from hymns and songs we sing, you will hear readings from special days like Thanksgiving, Palm Sunday, Christmas and Easter. You will encounter frank prayers and generous God who is real and accessible.
May the Lord bless you as you read His Word.