Saturday, February 12, 2011

Why read Psalms in a study of Paul and Patrick?

Each daily reading in Sacred Signposts ends with a selection of Psalms relating to the theme of the chapter. Why are we reading the Psalms when we're studying Paul and Patrick? Because the Psalms were their prayer patterns too. Psalms was the prayer book of Israel, and Paul, as a devout Jew, would have read and recited this book often. Like Paul, many of the first Christians were Jews, and they kept right on praying the Psalms. The early Irish church followed this tradition too, and thus we can assume that Patrick prayed these prayers as well.
I chose to include segments of Psalms in this study because I think it's the easiest way to jump right into praying Scripture. Psalms gives us a pattern for praying honestly as well as eloquently—not because God doesn't hear simple spur-of-the-moment prayers (He does!), but because, when circumstances allow, He is worthy of thoughtful meditative prayer. Praying the Psalms also inserts a note of triumphant praise into our prayers, lifting our gaze from our needs and our requests to focus on the Lord Himself.

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