I’m reading a book entitled Answering God by Eugene Peterson (HarperCollins, 1989). The author describes the Psalms as tools for cultivating and sharpening one’s prayer focus. Peterson does not set out to write a commentary on the Psalms. Instead, he sets out to provide an owner’s manual for the Psalms. The Psalms are not easy, and prayers are not easy, but the Psalms are prayers that teach us how to pray. Our understanding does not come before we pray; rather, our understanding comes as we use the Psalms to begin relating to God.
The first two Psalms (1&2) introduce us to prayer in the way of the Psalms. Psalm 1 describes prayer like a tree. In essence, it says go look at a tree and you will begin to understand what meditation looks like. Psalm 2 seeks to gift us with a God-sized imagination. While the powerful rulers of the world strive, God simply laughs. He is far more powerful than the most powerful leader the world has to offer… and He is worthy of worship. The first Psalm teaches us about meditation, the second Psalm teaches about the wonder and grandeur of God. Then the third Psalm is the first genuine prayer found in the book of Psalms. It is an honest description of fear and anger and emotion shaped into a prayer.
I’ve heard someone say prayer is a means God uses to give us what He wants. I believe this. In the final analysis, God wants to give us Himself. He knows that he is the key to our joy and fulfillment and happiness. Prayer serves the ends of God’s glory and our joy. It is time to pray. Our elders have decided to use Wednesday lunch hour to pray for our church and our upcoming “Stronger” marriage conference. We are giving up a meal a week to relate to God and tell him we are interested in what he can do in marriages in our community. Will you join us for the next 6 Wednesdays to pray?