The Psalms’ Inherent Prayer

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April 16, 2022

The Psalms’ Inherent Prayer

Written by: Julia Smolucha

The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

The bible is many things: ancient account, poem, parable, philosophical musing, family lore, history, travel narrative, prophetic dreams, letters to people near and far, and a multiplicity of telling and retelling of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Psalms are inherently prayer. Some are lament, others praise. Some are on the scale of whole kingdoms, others deeply personal. Some look at the natural world as an exposition on how to see God’s realm more clearly, others look to interpersonal relationships or national politics to make known the nearness of the Lord our God.

Last summer, I undertook a project called 100 Days of Psalms and Prayers, which took us through the first one hundred Psalms. Since there are 50 Psalms yet to consider, we will spend the 50 days called the Season of Easter which stretches from Easter Sunday to the day of Pentecost (​​pentēkostē meaning the fiftieth day).

This time I will write a short prayer to accompany the Psalm, and I will use excerpts of Psalms 101–150 from The Message, an adaptation of scripture written by Eugene Peterson. About his translation he says, “If there is anything distinctive about The Message, perhaps it is because the text is shaped by the hand of a working pastor. For most of my adult life I have been given a primary responsibility for getting the message of the Bible into the lives of the men and women with whom I worked. I did it from the pulpit and lectern, in home Bible studies, and at mountain retreats, through conversations in hospitals and nursing homes, over coffee in kitchens, and while strolling on an ocean beach. The Message grew from the soil of forty years of pastoral work.”

May the inherent prayer of the Psalms unfold for you in this Season of Easter.

The Psalms’ Inherent Prayer

Sunday, June 5, 2022 The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster Psalm 150 Hallelujah! Praise God in the holy house of worship, praise God under the open skies; Praise God for acts of power, praise the Lord for magnificent greatness; Praise with a blast on the trumpet, praise by strumming soft strings; Praise God with castanets and dance, praise the Lord with banjo and flute; Praise God with cymbals and [...]

The Psalms’ Inherent Prayer

Saturday, June 4, 2022 The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster Psalm 149 Hallelujah! Sing to God a brand-new song, praise God in the company of all who love the Lord. Let all Israel celebrate their Sovereign Creator, Zion’s children exult in their King. Let them praise God’s name in dance; strike up the band and make great music! And why? Because God delights in the people, adorns plain [...]

The Psalms’ Inherent Prayer

Friday, June 3, 2022 The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster Psalm 148 Hallelujah! Praise God from heaven, praise him from the mountaintops; Praise God, all you his angels, praise, all you his warriors, Praise God, sun and moon, praise, you morning stars; Praise God, high heaven, praise, heavenly rain clouds; Praise, oh let them praise the name of God— God spoke the word, and there they were! He [...]

The Psalms’ Inherent Prayer

Thursday, June 2, 2022 The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster Psalm 147 Hallelujah! It’s a good thing to sing praise to our God; praise is beautiful, praise is fitting. God’s the one who rebuilds Jerusalem, who regathers Israel’s scattered exiles. God heals the heartbroken and bandages their wounds. God counts the stars and assigns each a name. Our Lord is great, with limitless strength; we’ll never comprehend what [...]

The Psalms’ Inherent Prayer

Wednesday, June 1, 2022 The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster Psalm 146 Hallelujah! O my soul, praise God! All my life long I’ll praise God, singing songs to my God as long as I live. Don’t put your life in the hands of experts who know nothing of life, of salvation life. Mere humans don’t have what it takes; when they die, their projects die with them. Instead, [...]

The Psalms’ Inherent Prayer

Tuesday, May 31, 2022 The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster Psalm 145 I lift you high in praise, my God, O my King! and I’ll bless your name into eternity. I’ll bless you every day, and keep it up from now to eternity. God is magnificent and can never be praised enough. There are no boundaries to his greatness. Generation after generation stands in awe of your work; each [...]