Mondays have just been tough for the past two months. One thing and another have kept the Spiritual Springboard from being published, but I’m back in the saddle with our look at Praying Like the Psalmists.
As we examine the psalms with prayer in mind, we’ll analyze, categorize, and subdivide the psalms. We’ll look at words and phrases. We’ll examine figures, pictures, and illustrations. We’ll learn a great deal. However, the first step to praying like the psalmists has little to do with their forms and figures. It has to do with their relationship with God. If we want to pray as they did, we need to believe in the God they did.
This is especially impressive considering one of the main psalmists was King David. While the psalmists recognized their earthly king and even wrote psalms about him and his place before God (e.g. Psalm 18:50; Psalm 20:9 et al), they still understood that the true and ultimate King was God.
Psalm 2 demonstrates this. The king of Israel was on the throne only because God on His throne in the heavens placed him there. Go set the king on the holy hill of Zion.
However, God was not simply king of Israel. He is the king of the universe and everything in it. Psalm 95:3 demonstrates this absolute superiority and sovereignty, saying, “For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.” Why pray to Jehovah when their neighbors prayed to their pantheon of gods? Because Jehovah is the king. Even if those other gods actually existed, Jehovah is the absolute ruler of all things. Why settle for minions. Go straight to the source, the ruler, the king.
Don’t misunderstand. The psalmists were absolutely anchored in their belief that those other gods didn’t actually exist. Psalm 86:10 addresses the Lord, “For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God.” There are no others.
Finally, God was not simply the king out there in the heavens with some kind of ethereal rule over the universe. God was king of the psalmists.
“Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray.” – Psalm 5:2
“Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God.” – Psalm 84:3
“I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever.” – Psalm 145:1
As King, God had the right to tell the psalmists what to do. He was an integral part of their lives. At the same time, as King, He was their protector, their deliverer, their guide. God was not just out their in the heavens; He was part of their life. He was their King.
If we want to pray like the psalmists, we must let God be King in our lives.
(Come back next Monday to learn more about the psalmists’ relationships with God. Learn to pray to God the rock, fortress, and mighty tower.)