July 27 Inspiration

From the Desk of Pastor Kyle Doebler

The Psalms are the prayer book of the bible. These were the prayers that Jesus would have known by heart and prayed throughout his life. These were the prayers that sustained the Apostle Paul on his missionary journeys. And they are just right for these days where, if you’re like me, you don’t know what to pray anymore.  

The Bible invites us to do more than simply read the Psalms; it invites us to pray them, joining our voices with the countless generations of the faithful. But so many of the Psalms seem out of touch. Psalm 22 tells God about the terror of encircling strong bulls of Bashan. Bulls are undoubtedly scary, but are stampeding herds of bulls really a threat in southern Delaware County? Clearly, we’re going to have to do something more than simply recite the Psalms to pray them from the depths of our hearts. 

So, let me share with you one of my favorite ways to claim the words of the psalms as my own: re-writing the psalms to fit contemporary life. Take Psalm 136 for example. It was probably used in worship as a call and response song; the leader would sing the first part of each verse, and the congregation would respond,

“God’s faithful love endures forever!” 

To re-write this psalm, I could take things from my own life that God has done for me that reminds me that God’s faithful love does, indeed, endure forever.  

In worship, we’ve been looking at Psalm 23This week, try your hand at crafting your own version of Psalm 23. Consider what it means for the Lord to be your shepherd, and translate that into your life right now. When you’re done, you’ll have a prayer that is authentically your own and draws on the deep well of Scripture.  

Grace and peace,  

Kyle 

P.S. If you’re looking for what this might look like on a large scale, take a look at Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of the Psalms in The Message.