Introduction to Praying the Psalms

For centuries, the Book of Psalms has been used as a prayer book for the people of God. Although we are free to pray from our hearts, there are times when the written prayers of the Psalms can speak into the situations we face.

Have you ever listened to a song and thought, “That’s exactly what I’m feeling!” In the same way that modern music gives a voice to our emotions, the Book of Psalms gives expression to a full range of prayers. You may find yourself reading a psalm and thinking, “That’s exactly how I feel right now!” That is the desire that drove this project.

Praying the Psalms is a powerful way to express a full range of emotion, while also expressing our trust in God. Through the Psalms, we can express praise, sadness, uncertainty, and even anger toward God. God’s faithfulness is not dependent on our raw emotions, but on his faithfulness to us in all circumstances. You don’t have to sugar-coat your feelings when you approach God’s throne.

In her book, Journey through the Psalms, Denise Dombkowski Hopkins writes: “A journey through the psalms can be a path to wholeness, healing, and rootedness.” It is my hope that in praying the psalms, you’ll find true and complete wholeness. When we feel free to express the full range of our emotions before God, we’re freed from feeling obligated to feel certain ways in response to life situations.

How to Use the Praying the Psalms Page

This page has been created to help guide you in praying the prayers from the Book of Psalms. Because there are 150 psalms, finding a psalm that fits your situation can feel daunting. This resource is designed to help you creatively express a full range of emotions through prayer.

First, select a statement from the section below that best fits your current life situation or emotional state.

You’ll be directed to a page where you’ll be able to choose from a couple of options to better define your current situation. Your second step is to select the option that best fits your situation.

Third, you’ll be directed to a page where verses from the Book of Psalms will be listed. Read these verses and click on the one that most resonates with your current situation or feeling. You’ll be directed to a final page where you’ll get instructions on praying that psalm.

Finally, read the psalm and the instructions for praying that psalm. There will be some creative options to help you fully engage with your selected prayer.

Select the statement below that best fits your current situation.