Augustine of Hippo said,
“If the psalm prays, you pray. If the psalm laments, you lament. If the psalm exalts, you rejoice. If it hopes, you hope. If it fears, you fear. Everything written here is a mirror for us.”
Here I believe he is saying ‘make the psalms your own’. Use your own words and make the psalms words your words. As you pray the Psalms, pray in the spirit of the psalm reflecting every season and every type of emotion. When the psalms are rejoicing we should rejoice when they are mourning we should mourn.
The psalms are a rich source of God’s Word portraying many different feelings, emotions and underlying ideas. This week we will use the following themes. I thank Valerie and George Skinner for their contribution to the Praise and Reflection days.
Lament Praise Reflection Memory Public
By Meditating on the Psalms before we pray, we are following the way of the psalmists themselves. If anything in the psalm sticks out to you: pause, ask the Spirit to shine His light on it, then mull it over in your mind until it begins to ignite your heart. Without a doubt, the warmth of the Psalms is due to the kindling of meditation.
By Memorizing the Psalms. We will have a rich body of texts which will be fruitful in our prayers. Through memorization, we will always have words to give voice to our souls. Even when we feel speechless there will be something we can use as the basis of our prayers.
Praying as a family
By using a Blank Prayer: you can take it in turns to go round the family group.
Start off with, “God is great, God is good, thank you God for _____________.”
See how long you can keep it going. This is a good way to build relationships both with God and with each other.
Prayer Walk: Go for a prayer walk together in search for the things to be thankful to God for; trees, bird songs, smiles, flowers, cars and buses etc.
Prayer Dice: Make a prayer dice by attaching some of the following questions to each side of a cube. Each person takes their turn to throw the dice and then prays in response to the issue raised on the uppermost side.
What scares you? Ask God to help you when you feel afraid.
Thank God for someone who is older than you.
Some children don’t have clean water. Ask God to help them.
Pray for someone who lives where there are palm trees.
Thank God for the new friends you have made.
Ask God to provide food for a hungry child.
Tell about a fun day you’ve had. Thank God for that day.
Pray for someone who is having a birthday.
What makes you angry – tell God about it.
Who can you help this week ask God to show you how?
Fly around the room and sing your favourite praise song.
If you could email God what would you say?
Prayer Tweet: Use your own words to write a tweet or text to God.
The next two pages are pictures to colour.