Nearly every church email and newsletter quotes the psalms. While my book on Christ’s use of the psalms predates this pandemic, as a former parish minister and church educator I wrote it with both pastor and lay person in mind. (The Psalms: The Prayer Book of Jesus, is available on Amazon). Always important, the psalms are even more so today.
My chapter on the 23rd Psalm references Phillip Keller’s superb book on this psalm and also offers insights from my career in photography and videography, a career that frequently took me to mission fields in Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
My comments on the Psalms of Ascents—the prayer book of 15 psalms within the Book of Psalms—draw upon multiple visits to Israel and the role of those psalms in Jesus’ annual celebration of the Passover in Jerusalem. These psalms are sometimes called Songs of Steps and each individual psalm is titled a “Psalm of Ascents,” in the plural.
My treatment of Psalm 143, “Deeper Disciples,” gives suggestions for making this psalm quite personal. It will hopefully prove helpful to people feeling under siege today.
Each chapter includes suggested discussion questions. Small groups are not advisable now but the discussion questions may assist you in your podcasts or Facebook/Zoom bible studies. Some laypeople report they use the questions in their daily devotionals.
The Psalms: The Prayer Book of Jesus, includes a reprint of each psalm covered (NIV, with some minor modifications based on my own exegesis) so the book is a stand-alone resource.
Please consider this as an addition to your own library. Please consider sharing the book as a resource for others. It’s briefly described, with several reviews, on Amazon. I trust at least a few people will find it helpful—not only during these troubling times but when, under God’s Providence, we will all share a season of grand rejoicing.
We clergy are continually looking for materials to nourish our own spirits while we seek to uplift others. Many lay people search for literature that can deepen their prayer lives. I hope The Psalms: The Prayer Book of Jesus speaks to these needs.
Blessings on your ministry, your family and your community of worship, Gregg