Saturday 6 July 2019

Ben Patterson on Five Ways to Pray the Psalms

In God’s Prayer Book: The Power and Pleasure of Praying the Psalms (Wheaton: Tyndale, 2008), Ben Patterson outlines five ways to pray the psalms:

1. Say Them Out Loud. Just read the Psalms slowly and thoughtfully, assenting to what they say with as much understanding as you have, intellectually and emotionally. Don’t just read them, pray them; say them from the heart.

2. Festoon Them. Think of a psalm as a Christmas tree. Read it and then festoon it with your own prayers, as you would decorate a tree.

3. Paraphrase Them. Meditate on and study a psalm until you understand it well enough to put it into your own words. Then paraphrase the psalm as you have come to understand it, and pray your paraphrase.

4. Learn Them by Heart. Memorize the Psalms – but not by rote. Rather, learn them by heart; make their words your words.

5. Marinate in Them. The soul should marinate in Scripture by repeated, thoughtful, slow, comprehensive, and Spirit-enlightened reading.

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