Psalms... Prayer Songs for Trying Times
“I made it through that difficult time by praying and putting on praise music,” a friend recently shared when asked how she walked through a time of depression and angst.
I myself have found the Word of God and music to move beyond reason and my limited understanding to provide water to a dry soul. It is no mistake Psalms 87:7 reveals the hearts of God's singers...
"As they make music they will sing,
'All my fountains are in you.'"
They acknowledge God revives our souls as water nourishes creation. He is our fountain of life and so our soul can be filled in the direst of circumstances. He is our faithful one.
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes in the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength. Habakkuk 3:17-18
Are we waiting too long when we feel weary or low to focus our minds on God, put everything aside and sing or play the music that soothes our hearts?
In the book of Job, 9:27, the man afflicted with the loss of his children, home, health and business said, “I will leave off my heaviness and comfort myself.” In Isaiah 61:3 the great prophet wrote, “God consoles those who mourn by giving them a garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness.” When we reach for an instrument, headphones or cd…it is a step toward serenity.
King David, warrior, King, writer, shepherd, a worshipper of God wrote over 3000 Psalms—many reflecting troubled times. From the age of twenty-something, he cried out to God sharing his soul's anguish and embittered mind, only to consistently end his songs with comforting thoughts. A will to hope and express faith in a Mighty God beyond what his feelings dictated. A trust God would contend with enemies that assailed him relentlessly. The upward gaze was modeled by Moses too, the oldest author of the psalms who wrote Psalm 90!
A Medley of Psalms
The Psalms, also called the Psalterium “ A Collection of Songs” to be used with Musical instruments, are located in the middle of the Bible. They were written by various men of God, but we can experience our own peace in the twenty-first century by reading them, singing them to musical instruments or by stringing them together –pulling out the verses that mean most to our particular situation and writing them out.
Recently I found a medley of Psalms I puzzled together in my late twenties after returning from overseas as a traveling missionary--completely on empty. The job market had changed, I needed to adjust to new surroundings, friends, church ill with some bug that lasted a couple of months. Unsure what my new direction was … the psalms helped express what I needed to say. Here is what I came up with and as timeless as music is...still comforts today.
“When I am afraid I will trust in you. In God whose Word I praise. In God I trust. I will not be afraid for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until this disaster has passed. I said, “oh that I had the wings of a dove, I would fly away and be at rest. I would flee far away and stay in the desert. I would hurry to my place of shelter far from the tempest and storm. But I call to God and the Lord hears me. He ransoms me unharmed from the battle waged before me. I give vows to you O God, for you have delivered my soul from death and my feet from stumbling that I may walk before you in the light of life. Cast your cares upon the Lord and He will sustain you. He will never suffer the righteous to be moved.
Your love O Lord reaches to the heavens.
Your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains.
Your justice is a great deep.
O Lord you preserve both man and beast. How priceless is your unfailing love?
Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings. You will cover us with your feathers and
Under your wings we will find refuge. Your faithfulness will be my shield and rampart. He who dwells in the secret place of the most High will rest in the Shadow of the Almighty. The Lord our God in the midst of us is mighty. He will save He will rejoice over us with joy. He will rest in His love, He will joy over us with singing” (Zeph 3:17 last verse)
If you are weary and wondering and praying…try going through the psalms and finding relief through prayer. God hears you and loves you.