The Psalms: A Primer for Prayer

For six and a half years we worked our way through the Psalter psalm by psalm (Psalm 1 through Psalm 150). After reading each psalm at the start of our Sunday morning class, we then prayed sentence prayers based upon that psalm. Then, as I taught through the Hebrew Psalter in seminary courses exegeting each psalm from the Hebrew, I spent another nine and a half years studying the Psalms and praying each psalm. Those studies of Psalms in the church are available online on my personal website (that link will take you to the start of the series).

Lord willing, I hope to eventually publish my notes on Psalms and perhaps a few other studies of the Psalter. For now, however, with the encouragement and help of Rick Kress, we’ve published The Psalms: A Primer for Prayer

This book is designed as an aid to one’s personal Bible reading and prayer life. Readers can use it individually, or study it in a group. The volume encourages Christians to start a consistent habit of prayer by means of simple sentence prayers based upon the text of the Psalms. Read the psalm (on the lefthand page). Read some suggested prayers (on the righthand page). Compose your own prayers (write them in the white spaces of the volume). Gain confidence for praying in the company of other believers in private or publicly. Move to other sections of the Bible as you learn to pray individual scriptures. The suggested prayers are merely sample prayers to offer some guidance.

In addition to being aware of the many psalms, which are themselves prayers, the volume provides one suggested intercessory prayer for each psalm as a reminder that Christ is praying for His people (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25). The Bible contains a few of His prayers — John 17 is one of the best known and complete of Jesus’ intercessions for us. We need to become more fully cognizant of our Savior’s praying for us, interceding before the Father in heaven. We carefully based each of these potential prayers of Christ on the Bible’s own testimony to His prayers, His words, His instructions, and His use of the Psalms in His teaching and praying.

Click on the small image of the book on the right above and the link will take you to’s description of the volume.

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