Ancient Psalms and Modern Worship

Thesis: The Psalms can help us express our praise to God.

Song: I Will Sing the Wondrous Story (301)

1. Today the average Christian is probably no different than the first-century disciples of Christ in that we, as did they, as in we struggle with prayer as they did.
2. While I cannot remember a time, in the gospel accounts, that the disciples ever asked Jesus to teach them to preach, teach, or sing, but we do find them making this request,
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." (Luke 11:1)

A. Paul would later write, (Rom. 8:26).
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groaning’s which cannot be uttered. (Romans 8:26)
1. I know the feeling of being inadequate in prayer.
2. One of the most wonderful ways that studying the Psalms will bless your life, is in the area of prayer.
3. God can “teach us to pray” through the Psalms.
4. When we struggle to find the words to express our deep emotions to God, the Psalms can be our voice.
B. Consider the matter of praise.
1. Our worship of God will never rise higher than our personal concept of who God really is.
2. To whatever degree our understanding of the nature of God is lacking, our praise of Him will be lacking also.
3. The deeper our knowledge of God, the more meaningful will be our worship of Him, to ourselves and those around us.
4. I am sure the reason many of our prayers consist only of “God give me this” and “I’d like to have that” is because we have not come to know God as deeply as we should.
5. The more we reflect on the nature and character of God, the more we will use our prayers as vehicles of praise, and the less we will use them as heavenly shopping lists.
6. The Psalms will teach us to praise God if we will let them.
I will extol You, my God, O King; And I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You, And I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise Your works to another And shall declare Your mighty acts. I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, And on Your wondrous works. (Psalms 145:1-5)

O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. (Psalms 63:1-2)

1. Passages like these are on every page of the book of Psalms.
2. Read them.
3. Meditate on them.
4. Let them teach you about praising God.
5. Incorporate them into your own prayers.
6. Doing so, may breathe new life into your worship.

a. Faith and Hearing, Rom. 10:17; Mark 16:16
b. Repentance, Acts 2:38
c. Professing Christ, Rom. 10:9-10
d. Immersion in water, Rom. 6:3-5; Acts 22:16
e. Faithfulness, Rev. 2:10
Prayerful penitence for the erring child of God, Acts 8:22
Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. (Acts 8:22)

By Gary Murphy

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