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5 Wonderful Ways to Pray the Psalms

Have you considered praying the Psalms?

If you are looking for inspiration in the Bible on ways to pray, you should look no further than the Psalms. This great book of the Bible provides us with plenty of ways to pray the words of the Psalms. 

Some examples include singing the words, speaking the words aloud, and journaling the words. You don’t have to stop there, though. Get creative and come up with your own ways!

If you decide to use the Psalms to pray a specific prayer regarding something you are going through or something someone you know is going through, you can reword them to fit the circumstances. 

The possibilities are really endless when you start to think about them. You can do so many beautiful things with the wonderful words of the various Psalmists.

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What are the Psalms?

Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe describes the Psalms as “the love story between creation and its Creator.” Isn’t that beautiful? 

Psalms is a book of hymns, a book of prayers, and even a book of devotionals. It really depends on what your viewpoint is when you open the book and begin reading. In Hebrew, the book is called “a book of praises.”

Many people believe David wrote all of the Psalms, but the beautiful words were actually written by a number of authors. David did, however, write nearly 73 of the Psalms! Let’s give him some credit for that.

Each Psalm does list the author, depending on the Bible translation you are reading from. 

This well-written book of the Bible is about God and the relationship that He has with His creation, the nations of the world, and those who believed in Him, according to Dr. Wiersbe.

He further explains that the Psalms were written to reveal the intentions of our hearts so that we can better understand God and the people of the time.

People had doubts, but they also had faith and hope. This will become more clear the more you read the Psalms. At times, the people questioned God, but they saw, like we do, both triumphs and failures. 

As you explore this book for a new way to pray, I would suggest opening your heart and mind and listen carefully to the words of each Psalmist.

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Why Should We Pray the Psalms?

The Psalms are great for so many reasons.

  • You can pray the Psalms if you are going through a struggle or crisis.
  • You can pray the Psalms against an anxiety attack or period of depression.
  • You can pray the Psalms for strength. 

You can find a great deal of comfort in the Psalms as you read and listen to the words written by the Psalmist. Look to the Psalms when you are feeling low, and your spirits will surely be uplifted.

Also, if you just need some encouragement, you should pray the Psalms for warmth, compassion, love, and the power to lift your spirits when you need to calm down! 

They can also provide comfort before a big occasion or event that is making you feel anxious.

How Do You Pray the Psalms?

There really isn’t a right or wrong way to pray the Psalms. Below are just a few ideas that you might want to try out.

Ultimately, you’ll probably end up praying the Psalms in all of these ways and more!

Pray the Psalms Using Music

Many people have found it useful to turn the Psalms into songs. If you’ve found this useful, sing your heart out and enjoy memorizing the words to the various Psalms this way.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music. Psalm 98:4 NIV

This is very useful and fun! If you don’t know any songs written about the Psalms, there are many possibilities for you.

Check out YouTube for a song written about a Psalm. An alternative way to do this is to just hum a song you already know with the Psalm and use the words of a Psalm instead of the words you already know. 

You can get very creative with this method of praying the Psalms, especially if you have a musical instrument and know how to play it!

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Pray the Psalms by Reading Them Aloud

This is probably the most straightforward and well-known way of praying the Psalms. Just pick up your favorite Bible and read them aloud.

As you flip through the verses, you will likely discover one Psalm that especially speaks to your heart or to the situation you are praying over. 

Here are some alternative ways to pray the Psalms by reading them aloud:

  • Say the words of the Psalm softly.
  • Enunciate the words.
  • Use real emotions when you say the words.
  • Speak them slowly.
  • Repeat a verse that speaks to your heart over and over again.

Are you looking for some tools and tips to boost your prayer life? If so, be sure to visit our Prayer Resources Library where you’ll find everything you need to become a powerful prayer warrior!

Pray the Psalms by Journaling

As a writer, journaling the Word of God is probably one of my favorite things to do. I enjoy engulfing myself in the words that are spoken by the various authors, and I learn something new every time I do this. 

The process is not all that difficult, and you certainly don’t have to be a writer to do this. Anyone can benefit from keeping or starting a prayer journal.

Consider using creative elements when keeping a prayer journal, too. This makes it extra fun to pray the Psalms!

Throw some glue and glitter on the page, color a picture that describes your emotions, add some stickers, or even include a picture of the situation you are praying about! Use your creative imagination to really put the words to life!

You can find your favorite translation of the Bible and read the Psalms one by one. As you choose the one that you will focus on, decide how it will best help you pray today. Then, if possible, apply it to your circumstances. 

You can write them down word for word from the Bible translation you have chosen, or you can reword them into words that are more meaningful to you.

Similar to paraphrasing, journaling is more inspirational. You will want to use the words of the Psalmist to encourage yourself regarding your prayer requests.

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Pray the Psalms by Paraphrasing

Many people love writing out the Bible in their own words. They use this revised version of the Bible to pass on to their children or other family members. This method can also be used for prayer.

If you are new to prayer and are looking for inspiration in the Bible, the Psalms is a great place to start.

Choose a Psalm and begin reading it. What is it saying to you? How do you interpret the words? 

If you can read and understand the words, take a minute to ponder what the author is trying to say.

Once you have a clear picture in your mind, you can rewrite the Psalm in your own words. This is a beautiful way to pray, and this will help you memorize scripture at the same time.

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Pray the Psalms by Using Them for Inspiration

Not all Psalms are going to fit your situation and circumstance. You may find one that closely relates to what you are going through, but it just may not work in every instance.

One thing you can do is use them as inspiration as you create your own prayer in a prayer journal or notebook. 

Think about how the Psalmist felt when he wrote the verses. How does it make you feel? Use this as a jumping-off spot for creating your own prayers. 

You can write prayers based on the hope, encouragement, and strength you read about in the Old Testament. Try to empathize with the Psalmist if you really want to get inside his head!

Enjoy nature as you read the Psalms. Put yourself in the Psalmist’s head by looking at how he turned trails into victories. 

Also, enjoy reading about how the people of the day took their failures to God and asked for help.

They found new and interesting ways to ask for God’s gracious forgiveness when they did wrong. They repented for their sins. Ponder those things as you pray.

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Psalms to Pray

As mentioned earlier, there are so many reasons to pray the Pslams. Below, I’ve broken down specific Psalms to pray for certain situations or occasions.

Psalms to Pray to Praise God

Anytime we pray, we should always start by simply praising God for all He is! Use the following Psalms to pray and praise God for all His amazing glory!

  • My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord. Let every creature praise his holy name forever and ever. Psalm 145:21 NIV
  • I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. Psalm 146:2
  • Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Psalm 150:6
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Psalms to Pray for Protection

Look to the Psalms for guidance when praying to ask God for protection for yourself or a loved one.

One of the most well-known Psalms used for this purpose is Psalm 91 prayer for protection. But some other Psalms to pray are:

  • You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7 NIV
  • You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word. Psalm 119:114
  • You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great. You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way. Psalm 18:35-36
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Psalms to Pray for Healing

The Book of Psalms is filled with scripture about God’s healing power! Here are just a few verses to use as a guide in your prayers.

  • The Lord sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness. Psalm 41:3 NIV
  • Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me. Psalm 30:2
  • My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26

And don’t forget about those Thanksgiving prayers for healing!

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Psalms to Pray for Comfort

No matter what circumstances you are facing, you can rest easy knowing God is there! And there are so many comforting scriptures that can be found in the Psalms!

Related: Prayers to Pray After a Miscarriage

Here are just a few:

  • The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18 NIV
  • Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4
  • For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5
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Psalms to Pray for Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression affect us all at some point in life. Many times, it is simply from the chaos that surrounds us in this world.

The Psalms is a great place to find scripture to calm your anxious mind.

  • Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief. Psalm 31:9
  • Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. Psalm 25:17
  • Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken. Psalms 55:22

Pray the Psalms Today and Everyday

If you have ever tried to read the Psalms and pray them at the same time, you know how powerful and comforting they can truly be.

There are many reasons to use the Psalms when you are praying. The words were just so beautifully written!

Do you pray the Psalms? Which method is your favorite? Better yet, do you know of a method for praying the Psalms that was not mentioned in this article?

We’d love to hear from you! Please share your experience in praying the Psalms.

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Michele Kelsey is a Bible scholar and freelance writer who founded and manages Sharing Life and Love – a Christian website dedicated to helping people become the best version of themselves, keeping volunteerism, Christianity, and recovery as central themes.

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