Series PSALMS with Pastor Mark Finley |
Lesson 2: Teach Us to Pray |
This lesson focuses on the transformative power of the Psalms, particularly how they enrich the prayer life and assist believers in expressing their emotions and experiences before God. From daily reading to the deliberate selection of appropriate Psalms for various life situations, it illustrates the diverse applications. The comments emphasize that Psalms are relevant not only in times of despair but also in joyful moments, providing a comprehensive insight into human experience and divine wisdom.
Memory Text: Luke 11:1 – “Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples’.”
2.1 Fostering the Use of the Psalms in Prayer
The Psalms serve as a rich source for spiritual enrichment in prayer life. Their diversity allows individuals to express themselves in different life situations and address God in various ways. Through simple reading, reflection, and prayer on the Psalms, believers can gain deeper insights, correct false hopes, and discover new motives for prayer. The Psalms offer a timeless connection to human experience and divine wisdom.
2.2 Trust in Times of Trouble
Psalm 44 teaches us that it is okay to bring our deepest feelings of suffering and confusion before God. The selective use of Psalms in worship should not deter us from honestly confronting the dark realities of life. Praying the Psalms allows us to freely express our feelings and helps maintain trust in difficult times by looking back on the past and hoping in God’s goodness despite the suffering.
2.3 A Psalm of Despair
Psalm 22 teaches us that the Psalms not only serve to express our prayers openly but also to guide us according to God’s standards. The lamenting words of the Psalm of desperation allow suffering individuals to express their sorrow. Despite the darkness, the psalmist expresses faith in God and declares that he will always praise God, regardless of circumstances. The Psalms lead worshippers to new spiritual horizons, teaching them to look beyond the present situation and demonstrating the transformative power of prayer when suffering is turned into praise.
2.4 From Despair to Hope
Psalm 13 shows a way we can move from despair to hope. The Psalm begins with complaints and grievances that many of us can relate to when we feel forgotten by God. However, the crucial choice is to consciously reflect on God’s faithfulness and love. The Psalm urges us to choose trust in God’s redeeming power, transforming despair into hope. The Psalms are more than words; they are means of change and deepening the relationship with God when we ask the Holy Spirit to empower us to act according to their teachings.
2.5 Oh, Restore Us Again
Psalm 60 offers a prayer for difficult times, but even in good phases of our lives, we can benefit from it. The Psalm reminds us that suffering is a part of human life that affects everyone. In times of joy, lament Psalms like this can teach us compassion for the suffering and direct our focus to those going through tough times. These Psalms should inspire in us the desire to help the suffering by sharing the healing power that Jesus has exemplified.
This lesson emphasizes the significance of Psalms in prayer life. The focus is on the diverse use of Psalms, ranging from daily reading to selecting appropriate Psalms for personal situations. It explains how praying the Psalms can help express feelings and thoughts before God, from lament to praise. The commentary highlights that Psalms are valuable spiritual companions not only in difficult times but also in joyful phases of life, fostering the development of compassion for the suffering.
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