The Psalms: first pass

I’ve read the Psalms! Yay!

I can’t think which are my favourites, there were too many, and I was deliberately trying not to keep track. I did end up jotting down immediate reactions on my phone (here‘s the list of jottings for any hardcore fans).

So what now? It’s not enough to have read them, I want them inside me, at least some of them.

I did think Bonhoeffer’s reading was a bit narrow, and he was a bit strict about prayer, but I did like his point about learning to pray by praying God’s own words back to Him — just like we learn our native language by imitating our caregivers.

So: Learn! But, how? Which?

First step is to read them all again, in a different order. I’ll order them by length, starting with the shortest — i.e. (hopefully) easiest to learn. This time through I will think about each: do I like it? Does it effect me? Why (not)? Some I might learn straight away, some I might set aside to learn later.

Sometimes when I was reading a few lines or even just a phrase from a Psalm would reach out and grab me — sometimes the rest of the Psalm might not move me very much at all. I shall treasure these up too: the lines might make for a meditation or a prayer of their own.

Reading the Psalms in this, effectively random, order, will break any links between the Psalms, and any sense of context. I am very keen to delve into the history, the Hebrew, what are the Songs of Ascent?, and all that. However, I am wary of turning away from The Point, which is to pray, and to have God with me at all times. I like Him being with me and I do feel lonely without Him.

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  1. Love this: ” It’s not enough to have read them, I want them inside me.” I wish we all could maintain that mindset every time we approach scripture. It captures the zest of the Living Word.

    I also love that you notice which lines or words grab you most. That’s part of the beauty of the Psalms (to me anyway). Thanks for sharing these reflections. Your attentiveness to staying on Point encourages me to keep that as my own priority too.


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