Session 5 (Study Day):Psalms
By the end of this session you should be able to:
give an overview of the themes of the Psalms
state how the Psalms are used in worship and ministry
give an account of how the main themes of the Psalms relate to your faith journey and ministry as well as that of the church as a whole.
You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.
I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. (from Psalm 63)
Introduction to the Psalms
2) The film clip says several times that the major themes in the Book of Psalms are Lament and Praise. If these themes express how the children of Israel felt as they poured out their hearts to God, what does it tell us about the attributes of God that made them feel like that? What has this added to your understanding of prayer?
How to Read the Psalms
Whilst many people today will have individual psalms that have spoken to them in special times, this film clip says that rather than a source of pick & mix individual psalms, the Book of Psalms is meant to be a coherent collection of stories/ poems of God’s relationship with the Children of Israel. How does it work for you?
The Children of Israel venerated David because he worked towards building a Temple. ( though he did not actually get one built). When they finally did manage to build a Temple, the Jews saw it as the place where God ‘lived’ or ‘dwelt’ and could be approached. As well as approaching God in the Temple, they also used the psalms to get close to God at big Festivals and in the family prayers every Sabbath evening.
Can this weaving together of times of formal and family prayer with God be possible for us today?
Where do/can families/ groups of friends go now to meet with God ?
Do special places or times help us to meet God?
In what ways can we use David as a ‘prayer coach ‘ today?