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TRANSFORM YOUR PRAYER LIFE IN 2014 WITH THE PSALMS!

 PRAYINGPSALMSJOIN THIS WONDERFUL GROUP ON A LIFE-CHANGING ADVENTURE IN 2014!

MAKE YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION TO PRAY THE PSALMS WITH UNDERSTANDING, AND FIND SUPPORT HERE!

YOU WILL BE BLESSED

 LIKE TREES PLANTED BY THE LIVING WATER

SO THAT, NO MATTER WHAT LIFE BRINGS,

YOU WILL NOT WITHER

FOR YOUR ROOTS WILL GO DEEP INTO CHRIST

WHY PRAY THE PSALMS?

I realize many of you are in other studies, and I am going to be careful not to overwhelm you so that you can join us.  We are not going to race through the psalms, but instead walk contemplatively through the first book  (Psalms 1 through 41). I recommend, even if you cannot do all of the study, to add praying through the psalms to transform your prayer life with power and wisdom. Saints like Basil, Bonhoeffer, and Bono have prayed the psalms as a habit, and we should pay attention to how this formed them into the kind of men that bore such rich fruit, including the fruit of inextinguishable joy.

This quote from Bonhoeffer has been a life-changing one for me:

BONHOEFFER
Bonhoeffer

It is a dangerous error, certainly very widespread among Christians, to think that the heart can pray by itself. Prayer does not mean simply to pour out one’s heart. If we wish to pray with confidence and gladness, whether the heart is full or empty, then the words of Holy Scripture will have to be the solid basis of our prayer. For this we need the psalms…

GeorgeMueller
Mueller

Likewise, George Mueller found himself distracted and weak in prayer until he began with the Word, striving to make his soul happy in the Lord, and then used those very scriptures that had quickened him as a basis for his prayer. Keller echoes this. We will do the same. It’s going to be amazing — and it will be amazing to do it with this group, for we are like iron-sharpening iron. Thank God!

FOR THOSE JUST JOINING US!

Welcome! Click on the right for instructions on getting started, and adding your picture to the blog. There’s a short video to help you understand how to make comments. The first time you make a comment you will need to be approved, but after that, if you remember to log in, you won’t have to be approved. If you have a common name, add a middle name or something like Laura-dancer. We love it if you edit your remarks and keep them somewhat concise. You are also more likely to be read if you do.

FOR THOSE WHO WOULD LIKE TO GET AN EXTRA RESOURCE

You don’t have to have anything other than your Bible and a willingness to buy some mp-3 sermons from Tim Keller and Mike Reeve (I’ll give you a free one whenever possible, but sometimes there will be a cost of 2.50, but I will only do it if I think it is GOLDEN. Even then, it will be optional.) I will be providing commentary. I’d rather you stay with us than get overwhelmed and drop out. If you can’t afford the time or money for the sermons, then skip them and do what you can. You will still be richly blessed!

However, if you’d like to get an extra resource, I would recommend these, on the basis of my own personal use and the recommendations of people I highly respect:

1) Derek Kidner’s Two Volume Commentary on Psalms (20 dollars, Tim Keller’s top recommendation) Kidner is concise, so this will not overwhelm you.

C. S. Lewis said to read old books, and I believe that includes old commentaries. We ourselves have seen how the interpretation of The Song of Songs has changed. This is also true, though not quite so drastically, of the psalms. The old commentaries always saw Christ in the psalms — today the focus seems to be us. Here are two of the best which are also available online, though it is nice to have the books:

2) http://www.spurgeon.org/treasury/treasury.htm

3) http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/psalms-1-75/

Sunday (Icebreakers)

1. What stood out to you from the above and why?

2. Will you join us? If so, why?

Monday/Tuesday: GETTING READY

Read this page (link) originally from Redeemer’s website but posted on another website. Read through the suggestions (You don’t need to go on to do Psalm 131 unless you like)

3. What was helpful and why?

 

CHRIST IN THE PSALMS

When Jesus met with the disciples on the road to Emmaus, he showed them how He was in the psalms.

Emmaus

4. What did Jesus tell the disciples in Luke 24:44?

Many today read the Bible as if it all about us, but the Bible is all about Christ. Those who have been in this group have been blessed by listening to many Tim Keller sermons. Tim Keller is bringing back Christ-centered teaching to the church — the kind of preaching that used to be heard in men like Charles Spurgeon, the Prince of Preachers. Keller helps us to see how Christ is at the center of every book. Kirsten Powers, an anchor for Fox News, came to Christ in Keller’s church. Her boyfriend asked her to come, and she found Keller fascinating, but her initial response made me smile, for she said:

kirstenpowers“Any person who is familiar with Keller’s preaching knows that he usually brings Jesus in at the end of the sermon to tie his points together. For the first few months, I left feeling frustrated: Why did he have to ruin a perfectly good talk with this Jesus nonsense?”

(If you’d like to read her whole testimony, here is a link to Christianity Today’s article on her: Link

But it was the exaltation of Christ that melted Kirsten’s heart. In the same way, seeing Christ in the psalms will melt you and help you to pray the psalms rightly.

Have you begun to see Christ as the heart of the Bible instead of yourself? If so, give a testimony on how that impacts you.

Mike Reeves, in a message we will listen to this week, said not to think of the psalms as a hymnbook in which we can just flip to a psalm, pick it out, and pray it, but rather like Handel’s Messiah. It has a continuity, a flow, so you should study it consecutively, and see the flow.

5. Consider the book ends of Book 1 of the Psalter (Psalms 1-41)

A. How does the first psalm in Book 1 of the psalter begin? (Psalm 1:1)

B. The ancients saw Psalms 1 and 2 as one piece. How does Psalm 2 end?

B. How does the last psalm in Book 1 of the psalter begin? (Psalm 41:1)

C. How does the last psalm in Book 1 end? (Psalm 41:12)

D. What book-end theme do you see? Do you see the gospel? If so, how?

WEDNESDAY: HAPPY NEW YEAR!

MAY YOUR HEART BE MELTED BY WHAT YOU SEE ABOUT CHRIST TODAY

I have prayed the psalms for years, and they have changed my prayer life. But as I am seeing, more and more, how Christ is at the center of the psalms, my prayers are heating up, and I think yours will as well. Today, we will see how Christ is at the heart of the first three psalms, and then we will pray a passage from Psalm 1 today, Psalm 2 on Thursday, and Psalm 3 on Friday. We will go back to Psalm 1 next week — but my purpose this week is to give you an overview of Christ in the Psalms.

 

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6. Patrick Reardon says the first three psalms form a tripod on which all the others psalms rest, showing Christ as Man, Messiah, and Suffering Servant.

A. How can you see Christ as Man in the 1st psalm? How did Jesus live out the truths of the man who was blessed?

B. How can you see Christ as Messiah in the 2nd psalm?

C. How can you see Christ as The Suffering Servant in the 3rd psalm?

     PRAYING PSALM 1 NEW YEAR’S DAY

        We will look at Psalms 1 and 2 more carefully next week. This week is just a quick dip into Psalm 1, but I want you to see Christ. Mike Reeves shows the continuity between these two psalms, showing how the King of Psalm 2 whom God exalts on his holy hill is Jesus. That King is also fully man, a man who meditated on the Word day and night. Tim Keller says that Scripture continually flowed out of Jesus, from His temptation by satan to His last words on the cross. He “bled” Scripture.

7. READ THE PSALM AND THEN PRAY AS FOLLOWS:

A. A sentence of praise for what you learned about Christ:

B. A plea that He would so dwell in you that His desires would be your desires, and that He would help you meditate day and night (Optional — pray through Psalm 1 for your loved ones)

psalm 1

Thursday/Friday: Listen to Mike Reeves, and pray, as guided, Psalms 2 and 3.

Pray Psalm 2, JAN 2

8. READ THE PSALM AND THEN PRAY AS FOLLOWS

A. Praise God for the holiness and sovereignty you see in Christ in this psalm.

B. Ask the Lord to help you trust Him in the midst of unfair circumstances in your life and allow Him to be your King

(Optional: Pray this for your family members as well.)

 

psalm-27_4756_1024x768

Listen to Mike Reeves introduction to the Psalms — If you like, just listen to the first 21 and a half minutes, for then he goes onto Book 2, though that is rich too:

      LINK

9. There is much here but I want you to particularly share:

A. What stood out to you

B. His perspective on how to read the psalms — what do you think?

C. His comparisons to the 1st book of Psalms with the 1st book of Moses – what do you remember?

Friday: Praying Psalm 3

Psalm 3

10. Read Psalm 3 and then pray as follows:

A. Praise God for Christ’s suffering for you and His trust in God during His suffering

B. Ask God to help Christ’s fullness dwell in you that you might trust during your suffering, clinging to Him.

(Optional: Pray this for your loved ones as well.)

Saturday:

11. What is your take-a-way and why?

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475 comments

  1. Thanks Diane and Renee for that information on that bible.  I will check it out!
    Also, I’ve been reading Sarah Young’s “Jesus Calling”  daily devotional every day over and over for three years now and am ready for a change…as much as I love it!  Any suggestions for a wonderful daily devotional?

  2. Thanks Renee for the two links. It looks pretty cool.

  3. Diane, Regarding the Gospel Transformation Bible . . . my pastor, who as Tim Keller, points us to the gospel in every message, sent out the following email to the congregation:

    From all that I’ve seen so far, the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible is the Bible I’ve been looking for for years. Maybe some of you already know about it.
     
    It’s a solid Study Bible with exegetical and doctrinal notes that faithfully and wonderfully celebrate the transforming power of the Gospel throughout the Scriptures from beginning to end.
     
    I’ve read many different Study Bibles. Recently, I’ve been reading study notes composed over 400 years ago (Geneva Study Bible) — in part because up until now, I don’t believe there was anything like the “Gospel Transformation Bible” in existence (the GTB was just published September 30, 2013).
     
    This is exactly(!!!) the study Bible that I’ve wanted for my (older) children as, by God’s grace, they come to the Lord and grow in their faith. If I’m not going to be reading a Study Bible published over 400 years ago, then this is exactly the Bible I would want for myself.
     
    Here’s the link if you want to look it up. There’s a pdf file available for portions of the following books (Exodus, Ruth, Proverbs, Luke, Acts, James).
     
    http://www.wtsbooks.com/category/1149/gospel-transformation-bible

    1. Thank you so much for this information Sharmon!  My you are so blessed to have Tim Keller for your pastor!!

  4. You are very welcome! One correction . . . I am very blessed to have my eldest son, Timothy, as my pastor! As does Tim Keller, he points us to the gospel in EVERY message (took four years on the book of Matthew and now we are 7 messages in to Ephesians — 1:8):-)

  5. Joyce I just tagged you on Facebook about devotionals my Pastor puts out daily to help you get thru the bible in a year. Check it out if you like.

    1. Thank you Julie…I will look for it.

      Sharmon, I understand now….your eldest son, Timothy is your pastor.  What a blessing that must be!

  6. 4. What did Jesus tell the disciples in Luke 24:44? “these are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled” Jesus Himself is saying He is in the Psalms…so I must read them AND look for Him there! 
    5. Consider the book ends of Book 1 of the Psalter (Psalms 1-41)
    A. How does the first psalm in Book 1 of the psalter begin? (Psalm 1:1) “blessed is the one who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;.. “So…our blessings have a lot to do with the way we live!B. The ancients saw Psalms 1 and 2 as one piece. How does Psalm 2 end?” Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled.  Blessed are all who take refuge in him.”
     
    B. How does the last psalm in Book 1 of the psalter begin? (Psalm 41:1)”Blessed is the one who considers the poor! In the day of trouble the Lord delivers him;”
    C. How does the last psalm in Book 1 end? (Psalm 41:12)”But you have upheld me because of my integrity , and set me  in your presence forever”    
    D. What book-end theme do you see? Do you see the gospel? If so, how?  Blessings and how to receive them.  What not to do or from whom not to receive guidance or whom not to hang out with.  But take refuge in Him for your blessings. the Lord delivers. 
    the gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ, without Him we perish and we see Him here as our refuge and our deliverer or we perish. He is where our blessings come from.
    6. A. How can you see Christ as Man in the 1st psalm? How did Jesus live out the truths of the man who was blessed? He was all of these things.  He is our example.  He took counsel from His Father. B. How can you see Christ as Messiah in the 2nd psalm? verse 3 Christ is “his Anointed” C. How can you see Christ as The Suffering Servant in the 3rd psalm?

    1. Amen!

  7. 7. READ THE PSALM AND THEN PRAY AS FOLLOWS:
    A. A sentence of praise for what you learned about Christ:
     
    Jesus, I praise you for who you are-You are God who became man and dwelt among us-you delighted in Him and lived a perfect life in the flesh, and you never swayed from your delight in God. 
     
    B. A plea that He would so dwell in you that His desires would be your desires, and that He would help you meditate day and night (Optional — pray through Psalm 1 for your loved ones)
     
    Jesus, I confess that the cares of this world have easily swept in as of late for it seems like there have been so many thrown at me at once and I have stumbled-help me to turn and meditate deeply in Your Word day and night. I want your word to dwell richly in me so that my desires become yours.  I want you more than anything-yet at the same time I can easily stay in bed and prefer fret over trusting you! I have been bending toward fret or concern of life’s cares-but blessed is the man whose delight is in the law of the Lord-who delights in your love for him and your word so much He dines daily on it-on You..so help me to start not by just saying no to fretting but by not turning to anything or anyone but you and immersing myself in you first-help me to do this today. I am so grateful you came after me so I could hide in You-and I am SO grateful desiring you doesn’t depend on me for you put this desire in my heart..this desire to turn and be with you. You love me so much that you were forsaken by God on the cross so that I would NEVER be forsaken by God. And so Jesus please come and fan the flames of the fire you set in my heart for you.

    1. Praying your prayer for you Rebecca..and for myself.

      1.  Joyce, you are SUCH a sweet aroma..I am so grateful you are here.

  8. 7. A. Pray a sentence of praise for what you learned about Christ: God, I praise Yiu that You have opened my eyes and put people in my path to challenge my thinking and tradition and seek You to truly know (understand) You. 
    B. A plea: Father, I yearn to have my roots go deep into Your streams of water and life. And I pray the same for my loved ones, that they would thirst, that we all would desire to drink deeply every day, moment, to dwell in your streams of life. Pull our hearts in to align with You that we may meditate on You day and night. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. For thine is the glory, Amen. 

  9. 8. A. Praise God for the holiness and sovereignty you see in Christ in this psalm. God I praise You, Christ was holy and sovereign, an extension of you, You in flesh. Amazing that You would come and guide us and serve us as a king!
    B. Ask The Lord to help you trust Him: God I pray that you would continue to make me aware of self preference so that I may turn from it and instead please refine my desires and my perspective to be yours. That I would look at life through Christ and not myself. I know the outcome is in Your hands, I pray that I would be Christ in the process, aligned with and trusting You. Amen. 

  10. 9. A. What stood out you? Wow, wow, wow. I loved this! Never have I heard Psalms preached from the perspective of Christ! Can’t wait to listen to the rest of these lectures (Dee, will we be listening to the rest?). The thing that stood out to me was his comments about Psalms not being a “grab bag of sweeties”. That “you cannot just rummage around and just pick one that meets your emotional need.” I feel this is how most Christians read the Bible, instead of coming to the streams and drinking deeply (dwelling, looking for the quickening of your heart) they just look for a quick promise to claim (often out of context or misinterpreted), as Mike Reeves said, to give themselves a spiritual pat on the back and go on with life. This is a disservice to Christ (and ourselves)! Instead I need to read the book as a whole (and indeed this would apply to the entire Bible, as well) and know God and hear Christ (for He is the Word). So much more PROFOUND and satisfying and refreshing! 
     
    I also liked his thoughts on wisdom literature being about making us think and “woo us to Christ” to draw in and know Him, learn of Him. 
     
    B. His perspective on how to read the psalms – what do you think? Yes!  =)
     
    c. His comparisons to the first book of Psalms with the first book of Moses – what do you remember? I remember that he gave a lot of parallels, a tree, a man on the sixth day, rest on the seventh day as Christ rested in the tomb on the seventh day… Those are the only specifics I remember. I know it has piqued my interest to look at more. I will be honest, at first I thought he was reaching but I trust him and so I pondered and remembered that scripture was written with purpose not just some random collectings of spiritual giants. And so, I want to know more.

    1. Jill – is today your follow-up with cardiologist? Praying for you, too!

      1. Susan, you are sweet to remember, thank you! Cardiologist said it was a response to virus (I was in a high sinus tachycardia with no findable cause). It was a scary two weeks but my heart has settled down. Md said it may happen again =/ but likely it would be a similar episode, concerning but not life threatening (vs an SVT or other arrhythmia) and self-resolving.  

        1. I AM glad that your heart has settled down, jillwithaj, and that it is not life threatening, but I know it WAS very scary at the time.

  11. 7. READ THE PSALM AND THEN PRAY AS FOLLOWS:
     
    A. A sentence of praise for what you learned about Christ: – Jesus, thank you for the example you left for us…You never listened to bad advice; You welcomed sinners yet You never took part in their sin, and You never mocked anyone. You had a pretty short season on this earth as a man-only 33 years, yet Your season was fruitful and You never gave up or quit or grew tired of helping, of loving. When it says that sinners won’t stand in the assembly of the righteous – I see that I have a problem because I am a sinner. I praise and thank You for taking my sin and giving me Your righteousness so that I may stand in Your presence.
     
    B. A plea that He would so dwell in you that His desires would be your desires, and that He would help you meditate day and night:  Lord Jesus, I do pray that as You dwell in me, that You would become larger and larger and that my “stuff” would become smaller and smaller. Help me to have “the mind of Christ” and to think more about You and how wonderful You are. So often my thoughts go towards thinking about how someone has hurt or offended me and my thoughts become critical and negative; please help me at those moments to redirect my thinking back to You and to Your Word. Help me to spend some time each evening reading something edifying that I may go to sleep thinking on the truths of Your Word.

  12. LAURA-DANCER – praying for you-today is your appt. with your oncologist. Please let us know your course of treatment that you and your doctor decide upon when you can.

    1. I’m with Susan, Laura-D…covering you with prayer today.

      1. Praying for you Laura and Jill.

    2. I have been thinking about you as well today, Laura dancer and wondering how your appointment went.

    3. Thank you everyone for your kind thoughts! May I say a HUGE WOO-HOO!!!! I failed the Oncotype DX test!!! That is a good thing! On a scale of 1 – 100, I made a “7!” She said it was one of 2 of the lowest scores she had ever seen 🙂 It means NO CHEMO! Next up is radiation, probably starting in the next 2 weeks, for 6 weeks’ duration. God has truly taken care of me through all of this messiness 🙂 it reminds me of Psalm 2…He is totally in control of all on earth, including US. Thank you Jesus for keeping us under your wing.

      1. Such great news! Praise be. Will be praying for you as you start radiation. 

      2. Oh Laura – wonderful news and I rejoice with you!! I’m so glad you are a “failure” at the Oncotype test:)))

      3. Laura–yea!!! So thankful!

      4. Thankful for this good report Laura! 

      5. Thanks for the update, Laura-d…so happy that you won’t have to undergo chemo…yippee!!!

      6. Such good new Laura Dancer, we do serve an AMAZING God. Will continue lifting you up in prayer.

  13. Ditto and AMEN to EVERY THING you said, Jill, in response to #9! As I did yesterday, I recorded in my journal and then looked at the comments here. You expressed, in a much more eloquent way than I had written, my mind and heart. Thank-you — so refreshing!!!

  14. Thanks for sharing the “Ringing in the New Year” link, Elizabeth…
    love, love LOVE these thoughts (reminders)…well worth printing out and saving for future reference and sharing with friends.
    “…transforming work of grace is more of a mundane process than it is a series of a few dramatic events. Personal heart and life change is always a process. …You and I live in little moments, and if God doesn’t rule our little moments and doesn’t work to re-create us in the middle of them, then there’s no hope for us, because that’s where you and I live.”
    ““Big Drama Christianity” gets us into trouble. It can cause us to devalue the significance of the little moments of life and the “small change” grace that meets us there. Because we devalue the little moments where we live, we don’t tend to notice the sin that gets exposed there and we fail to seek the grace that’s offered to us.”
    “Your legacy will be shaped more by the 10,000 little decisions you make in 2014 rather than the last-minute resolution you’re about to make.
    But here’s what makes 10,000 little resolutions possible – GRACE. Relentless, transforming, little-moment grace.
    You see, Jesus is Emmanuel not just because he came to earth, but because he makes you the place where he dwells. This means he is present and active in all the mundane moments of your daily life. In these small moments he is delivering every redemptive promise he has made to you. In these unremarkable moments, he is working to rescue you from you and transform you into his likeness.
    By sovereign grace he places you in daily little moments that are designed to take you beyond your character, wisdom and grace so that you’ll seek the help and hope that can only be found in him. In a lifelong process of change, he is undoing you and rebuilding you again – exactly what each one of us needs!”

    1. Nanci–so glad you enjoyed it too. I thought the “10,000 little decisions you make in 2014 rather than the last-minute resolution” concept was profound! And have I said how thankful I am you’re back ?! I sure missed you during Advent! How is your daughter and grand daughter? I imagine the holidays may have been difficult.

      1. Thanks Elizabeth…I missed being here, but knew that trying to “do it all” probably wouldn’t work so well. 
        Thanks for asking about my daughter and granddaughter…they are both fine.  They are still living with my husband and I; my daughter anticipates housing to open up in the next few months.  Our holidays were nice.  We shared good quality family time with our immediate and extended families.  I watched my granddaughter as she studied the Christmas tree and gifts underneath, gently touching what she managed to reach…it was really quite sweet.  

  15. 7. READ THE PSALM AND THEN PRAY AS FOLLOWS:
    A. A sentence of praise for what you learned about Christ:
     
    Dear God,  First of all I am so grateful that Jesus came to live among mankind and to demonstrate by His life how we should live.   Now I know how to live, but I need your help to keep me focused and on-target to live as Jesus did.  Jesus was pure, and although he had compassion on sinners, He did not become like them.  He helped others in any way possible, demonstrating Your love in all His actions.   He stayed in constant communication with you, dear God, by meditating and praying and drawing upon your power.  
     
    B. A plea that He would so dwell in you that His desires would be your desires, and that He would help you meditate day and night (Optional — pray through Psalm 1 for your loved ones)
     
     Please help me to become more like Jesus.   Lead me and guide me by your Holy Spirit.   Call me frequently into prayer and communication with You. May I become alert enough to even notice Your whispers!    Please  help me to draw refreshment from Your streams of living water, and grow, and be fruitful according to Your will. In Jesus name, I pray.   Amen 

  16. 8.  Praying Psalm 2:  I am appreciating this order of praying through a psalm — seeing Christ first.  Thanks, Dee, for leading us through the process of first praising God for specifics about Christ first.   When I am really praising Him, seeing His Holiness and Sovereignty, that Christ is King over all kings (and over tyrants in much lower positions who think they have authority), the miserable stuff in life is put into perspective.

    This may sound trite, but I find it fascinating that when I focus on Him until He/His holiness and sovereignty consumes my thoughts, the second part, trusting in His Sovereignty during unfair stuff, flows; it’s sort of a natural progression.  If I start with the second part, asking Him to help me trust Him, I feel more desperate (and I am VERY desperate, in my own strength, about unfair circumstances to the point that I am either paralyzed or self-destructing), almost as if I am using Him to achieve my own desires.

    This reminds me of Mueller and “getting my soul happy in the Lord.”   And while seeing His Sovereignty right away in the morning may get soul at peace in the Lord, I am so “prone to wander” that my soul won’t stay at peace very long.  I will NEED to constantly come back to praising God for Christ’s holiness and sovereignty; and yet, it’s not about my need, it’s about Him.  When I see Him, my need is met.  When I see Him, I do delight in His Word and desire to meditate on it day and night.  The Psalm is about HIM, His holiness and sovereignty.  Confession for my blindness and sin, for wanting to plot against those who plot against me and trust in Him flow from seeing Him.  When I see Him, my soul is at peace.  But I don’t think this is primarily about seeking Him so that my soul gets peace — or vindication (that distorts my perspective).  It’s about lifting Him up.  The resulting peace is because I know that however miserable my circumstances or out of control my life may seem, He is holy, righteous, and in control.  As King over all, He isn’t freaked out by messy life.  HUGE implications.

  17. 8. READ THE PSALM AND THEN PRAY AS FOLLOWS
    A. Praise God for the holiness and sovereignty you see in Christ in this psalm.
     
    Dear God,  Again I thank you for sending Jesus to us.  He shared in the miseries of being human, yet all along He has been powerful, sovereign, and holy.  He is in charge of my life and also the lives of everyone else!   I pray especially for my family members, asking that You keep them all close to You, protected and safe, guided as You would have them to go.
     
    B. Ask the Lord to help you trust Him in the midst of unfair circumstances in your life and allow Him to be your King
     
    O Lord, when I feel overwhelmed by the unkindness and unthoughtfulness of others, please come to me and comfort me.  Help me to overlook the times I feel slighted, and instead call me to run to You.  You are my refuge in troubled times!   Please guide me to notice Your angels gathered around me, ministering to me, and may my trust in You be complete and unbroken.   I pray it all in Jesus name. Amen.

  18. This quote by Bonhoeffer stood out to me:  It is a dangerous error, certainly very widespread among Christians, to think that the heart can pray by itself.  Just recently I had been prompted to organize my “prayer list”, and was somewhat pleased that I had it in a form to use more readily.  Of course, I included reading and praying back to the Lord scripture (if not in too much of a hurry!) when praying “my list”.  I am convicted by Bonhoeffer that the creation of “my list” may have included too much reliance on my heart (so desperately deceitful, Jeremiah 17:9), and I am excited to begin this New Year with a refreshing new way to pray, with scripture as the solid basis and with full recognition of it being that which quickens the prayer (Mueller).  
    I hope to be able to keep up with this Bible Study prayer/blog as I can really use the iron sharpening!  Thank you, Dee, for again being sensitive to God’s leading in designing this study.  Hope to see you in Door County soon!
     
     

  19. 9. There is much here but I want you to particularly share:
    A. What stood out to you
     
    I had never considered that the Psalms was more than a collection of small writings — sort of like David’s journal.   Mike Reeves was pointing out that there is a progression through the total book, and that the Psalms need to be read in consecutive order — that was truly a first for me.   When he said that Psalm 1 contained a lot of Genesis themes and that Psalm 2 was in Exodus territory, I found that fascinating!
     
    B. His perspective on how to read the psalms — what do you think?  
    I think I accidentally answered that on question A.

    C. His comparisons to the 1st book of Psalms with the 1st book of Moses – what do you remember?
    The first book of Psalms contains a lot of Genesis themes.   There is the reference to trees planted by streams of waters in Psalm 1.   In Psalm 3 is mentioned “lying down to sleep” which corresponds in Genesis to the “morning and evening” and “light and darkness” themes.  In Psalm 8,  there is listed all the various elements that were created such as flocks and herds, beasts of the field, fish of the sea, and all that swims in the sea.  Plus there is  a lot of language about “the man” and that man is made ruler over creation.

  20. What book-end theme do you see?
    When I look to the Lord and he rescues and secures me

    Do you see the gospel? If so, how?

    Yes, I see the preaching of the Gospel to myself daily, minute by minute at times
    Looking to what I know is true, using the truth of scripture to disarm the enemy, believing the It Is Finished and I can rest in Christ, he has secured me, he hems me in going before and behind me

    I am sorry to have been so absent for this fellowship. I have felt an inability to articulate much of anything, but God has been with me….truly!
    This blog and Dee’s shepherding helped prepare me for the deep waters I have been treading.
    I thought I should offer a little window into what we have been walking through.
    The sentencing of the man who had confessed was December 20th. Susan your card came at just the right moment, like an apple of gold in a setting of silver 🙂
    Writing and then reading the statement was excruciating and yet I kept imagining being the one coming up out of the wilderness leaning on the arm of my beloved.
    I certainly have felt the wilderness and my own weaknesses, the need to lean on the only one who can be counted on.

    One of Daniels friends, my husband and I read statements at the sentencing. While understanding that as an unregenerate person, he really cannot appreciate the weight of his sin, I hoped to push him towards owning it.
    Each of the statements had pieces of the gospel in them.
    I couldn’t look at him while they were being read, but my friend said he was clearly affected. He was going to be given written copies of all of the statements.
     Many of Daniels friends were there, I pray to see them all drawn to Christ in visible undeniable ways, them but also I plead this most especially for our other children.
    The second man, who has not confessed, has a trial date of February 3. With the other man having agreed to testify against him, we hope he will plead and that we will not have to endure a trial.

    Here is a link to the news article, as you might imagine our statements were much longer than the excepts they chose to include.
     
    http://www.news-herald.com/general-news/20131221/matthew-boone-sentenced-for-role-in-daniel-swans-death

    My husband went back to work today and I am reveling in an extended morning of solitude, It is snowing like crazy here, I have set out a banquet for the birds, been in the word, listened to a sermon, prayed well and now I am here and I am glad!

    1. Chris,
      So glad you came on here now.  Just this morning I was praying for you and going to scrounge the blog to see if I missed an update from you.  I can’t even comprehend the pain of writing and reading your statement.  Thankful that you’ve been leaning on Him and that He can be counted on.

    2. Chris! You’re here! Wow–this is honestly the 2nd time this has happened–you had JUST come to mind when I posted below–and I mentally prayed for you–missing you, started to ask about you here, but thought you must be overwhelmed…look, it was at the same time you were posting!
      Going to the article now, oh I have missed you, love to you~

    3. oh Chris, I cannot type, so over whelemd every time I read more–to tell you again how sorry I am seems like nothing, but I will pray–for Feb 3, for no trial, and continue to pray for God to use this for His glory–to draw others to Himself. I do see His glory in you and Bill, and I cannot imagine the number of people your lives have touched. I am thankful for your vulnerable heart, allowing Jim to use you both

      1. Chris, I agree with Elizabeth — I just read the article, saw photos, and re-read an article/videos from the summer.  I am continuing to pray — though I don’t have words to write or to pray.  “For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” So good to know that you are in His hands and that He loves you.

    4. Chris,  I am so thankful that you made the effort to post and to let us know what has been going on.   I, for one, had been missing you and  wondering about you.   How difficult it must be, but you and your husband are performing a great witness, and I hope there is some degree of catharsis in revealing your pain through your statements.   I’m sure you don’t look forward to doing it all again, and therefore are hoping the second man will plead, so as to avoid a trial.  If he pleads, will you be given an opportunity to read your statements?   I sort of feel like the one who actually wielded the pipe  needs to be confronted even more  than the one who drove the vehicle.  Sister, you remain in my prayers!  Please keep checking in with us!

    5. Thank you friends, you minister to my heart! I know that God has worked through all the prayers, we have been buoyed up in amazing ways.
      Renee I prayed that same scripture today interceding for family members, so my heart leaped when I read your post 🙂
      Elizabeth I love those Holy Spirit affirmations, when it is so clear that we are tracking with him, I have so clearly felt ‘seen’ by him, I am beginning to be okay with it, even to feel peace and rest, whereas I used to so often feel fearful.
      Deanna I hope to do more than check in, I have quit my job, and should have time to devote now. I do not intend to pursue a job until after we know if there will be a trial. At sentencing victims are givens a chance to submit and read statements, providing he is convicted.
      I am registered to start the Foundations of Biblical Counseling class from CCEF this month.

      1. Chris,
        So cool about the CCEF class. Will look forward to learning about your experiences in it.
        Will pray that you continue to experience peace and rest.

    6. Thanks so much for the update, Chris. Isn’t it just like Jesus to be with you in such a special way during this difficult time and to give you a heart for the salvation of the men who did this to your son. Wish I could give you a hug!
       
      It is great to have you back contributing on this blog. I too have missed you. I also think it was wise to have quit your job and wait until you know whether or not there is a trial before taking another. I completely understand. 
       
      I have family (children and grandchildren) here until Saturday. Hopefully I will get a chance to listen to Reeves, but most of the rest I will try to do but probably not have time to comment. I have enjoyed the different perspective on Psalms as not being about us and our emotions but about Christ (and possibly the OT books of Moses.)

    7. Dear Chris, it’s so good to have you back here.  You and your family have been in my prayers, knowing what you had to do right before Christmas.  My heart aches for you sweet sister.  I am so sorry and at a loss for words.  Your always in my prayers.

    8. Chris, I am so glad to read your post; you are an amazing woman to me. Thank you for ministering to me in your pain. I am glad you feel the Lord with you.

    9. Oh Chris, words cannot even express the pain and saddness I feel reading and seeing the pictures of what happend. I am so so sorry that you are going thru this and please know that I will be praying and praying hard for you and your family to find some kind of peace and comfort thru Christ at this time.

    10. Chris, thank you for letting us know how you are, and updating us on all the rest. I also can’t seem to find words to describe my thoughts as I read your post…I see how God was and is with you; I imagine you reading your statement with your mind set on leaning on Him, coming up from the wilderness. You are enduring the unthinkable, walking the path that no one, if they were honest, would say they wanted to walk. I hate that you have to. I am so thankful that Jesus has kept you and held you and He is doing an amazing work in you and we all see it.

      1. Bless you sisters, all of you. Your prayers and support have been the love of Christ to me so many times these past hard years.
        Diane I would love that hug! It is weird to read the words ‘concerned about the salvation of the men’….
        We went to see the second Hunger Games movie recently, the line ‘remember who the real enemy is’ really stuck with me.
        For these men to never even realize the pain they caused, for them not to repent, seems like giving the real enemy the victory.
        I don’t long for their repentance like I do my kids, out of concern for them, more out of a sense of justice, does that make sense?

        1. Oh Chris, “more out of a sense of justice,” –makes a lot of sense to me, Chris. When you said ” I’m glad to leave you in His hands”–I think there is a peace that comes knowing we do serve a perfectly just God. I choke up every time I get to Bills words–especially “our wounds will never close”–and I know the Lord grieves with you, even more than I can imagine–and somehow the “openness’ of your wounds that will never close is what He is using before our eyes. I feel so privileged to SEE more of Him by watching you. Watching you grieve and cry out to the Lord and never plaster a false sense of security, but show your real honest pain, as Job did. And then watching Him hold you, before our eyes–I praise Him for the faith He has given you and for the way He is carrying you

    11. Chris, my heart hurts for you, I join the others in supporting you with prayer. 

      1. Thank you Jill

    12. Dear Chris.  Thank you for the update…I have no words…my heart hurts for you; I cannot fathom what you have gone through and continue to go through.  I will pray that you & Bill (as well as other family and friends) are not put through a February trial.  Your words were well spoken (“You have a tattoo on your neck that says ‘only God can judge you’ and ultimately I believe that’s true. I’m glad to leave you in his hands.”)

    13. Chris, 
      I am SO glad to hear from you-and have been thinking about you for the past month wondering how you are doing with all of this. Thanks so much for the link to the news article- my heart is so with you. Wish I could have been there to hug you. Love you sister.

  21. 8 A. Praise God for the holiness and sovereignty you see in Christ in this psalm.
     
    O Lord, I praise Your Majesty. You are the Father’s Son, the Anointed One. You are perfect and holy. You have inherited all the nations and all the earth. I praise Your power! “You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” I love that nothing and no one, no armies can ever defeat You. You bless those who take refuge in You. You are our Mighty Protector, our Redeemer on the white horse.

    B. Ask the Lord to help you trust Him in the midst of unfair circumstances in your life
     
    Lord, You know my struggles—being thousands of miles from all extended family, missing fellowship closer to home, and the other things I struggle with. The alone-ness that it can bring. The aching for my true Home. But this year, I long to believe. Believe good things from You. To move beyond trust and faith and hope, but to really believe the depths of Your goodness and love.
     
    Personalizing these verses, from 1 Peter 1:8–Though I have not seen Him, I love him. Though I do not now see Him, I believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory. And 1 John 4:16– So I have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
    1 John 5:5 “ Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”

  22. 9. There is much here but I want you to particularly share:
    A. What stood out to you:
     
    Our culture screams Me-obsession. Psalms are often man handled and used to feed an obsession with my emotional state. Most commentators today say the Psalms reflect the range of emotions for a believer. But Reeves says is not the fundamental purpose of Psalms. For example, Psalm 22:1—we can read that as our own experience, feeling abandoned by God as a believer. But if you read it as fundamentally the Cross—the interpretation of suffering is much deeper. The Lord Himself has experienced this, and was victorious over it. So then in applying it to our own emotions, it gains greater strength, power. Reeves says wisdom literature is not fundamentally about how we are to live our life. Psalms is meant to be read as a whole. It is fundamentally a Messianic book.
     
    B. His perspective on how to read the psalms — what do you think?
     
    I think I answered that above—LOVED his perspective. When we stop looking at the Psalms as “me-obsessed”, and we see Christ, it gains even deeper application for us. C. His comparisons to the 1st book of Psalms with the 1st book of Moses – what do you remember?
     
    As Moses wrote the five books of the law, so David wrote the 5 books of wisdom—they correspond with one another.
    Book 1 = Psalms 1-41 (Genesis)–themes: tree planted by streams of water; 6 days of creation; night and day, light and dark; psalm 8-man is created as ruler
    Book 2 = Psalms 42-72 (Exodus)
    Book 3 = Psalms 73-89 (Leviticus)
    Book 4 = Psalms 90-106 (Numbers)
    Book 5 = Psalms 107-150 (Deuteronomy)
     
    Interesting—he says Proverbs is primarily not for us, but for the King. Psalms is primarily about the King.

  23. A. How can you see Christ as Man in the 1st psalm? How did Jesus live out the truths of the man who was blessed? 1:22but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.
    This is from the Reformation Study Bible:
     
    His delight. The righteous man is described as someone who loves the law of God. “Law” can refer to a specific command, but also to the whole Scripture. The righteous person grows by an obedient response to the Scriptures, which express the will of God. I thought of the Keller sermon where he talked about Christ bleeding Scripture, that in his moments of greatest distress, scripture was what came out. His responses were completely obedient and bathed in scripture Verse 3 brought this from John 15 to mind:
    4“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.… Jesus is our source of life

  24. How can you see Christ as Messiah in the 2nd psalm? There is the theme of rebellion, of humans wanting to be in charge of themselves, but rebellion is foolish, we belong to our maker, if we are in proper reverent fear of his righteousness we will gladly accept his mercy and serve him in love and he will be our refuge. Hallelujah!

     

    How can you see Christ as The Suffering Servant in the 3rd psalm?

     
    Verses one and two point to Christ on the cross, how his enemies jeered and taunted him, how evil appeared to triumph Verse 4 “I cried aloud to the Lord,     and he answered me from his holy hill” Our cries for mercy can only be answered through Christ death on that “holy hill” Verses 5-7 made me think of the Sabbath rest study we did, how we can be at peace no matter our circumstances, because “it is finished”, the forces of evil ultimately do not stand a chance. Christ has suffered to defeat evil and win us for himself

  25. Looking forward to this study

    1. Welcome Carol J–glad you have joined us!

    2. Hello Carol 

    3. Hi Carol…welcome!  I look forward to your presence on the blog.

    4. Welcome Carol…we are all so glad you have joined us…looking forward to reading your posts!

  26. I’m having trouble seeing/finding the Reeves link?

      1.  
        HELP HELP HELP
        Is there any other way to hear Reaves? I don’t have flash player on my Ipad so it does not connect for me.

        1. Julie Pedroza, Click here and then scroll down to “Psalms-introduction”…see if that works. Let me know! 🙂

  27. A. What stood out to you-the Christ centeredness and how we cannot just take a line like a song. The entire thing goes together. I think that is what he said, for the richness of it. They also are following after Moses books. Very interesting…
    B. His perspective on how to read the psalms — what do you think? It was interesting and I think it could enrich ones study.
    C. His comparisons to the 1st book of Psalms with the 1st book of Moses – what do you remember? I specifically remember Genesis 8 and creation parallel. Eye opening and am excited to now be a Berean and see for myself. 🙂

  28. Psalm 1 prayer
    Oh Lord you are like a tree planted by streams of water. You are tall and strong. You bear fruit in season and Your leaves never wither. All that you do prospers. I love this picture of You!
    Oh how I want to be like You. Please kindle desire for You in me.
    May I delight so in the Lord’s instruction that I become that tree planted by the stream of Your living water. Nourish me with Yourself. Oh please dwell in me Holy Spirit.
    Come to my family Lord. My husband, my sons and my dear daughter in law. May they never follow the advice of the wicked, take the path of sinners or join in with mockers. Instead may they each one delight in the Lord’s instruction, meditating on it day and night. May they be like trees planted by streams of water, bearing fruit in season. May they never wither, prospering in all that they do. Oh my dear Jesus! You made all of this possible when You redeemed us. I love You Lord and praise Your name forever. Amen

  29. Several of Mike Reeves mp3s on Psalms can be downloaded here.  I may download onto some gadget so that I can listen again when I don’t have easy Internet access.

  30. 8. READ THE PSALM AND THEN PRAY AS FOLLOWS
     
    A. Praise God for the holiness and sovereignty you see in Christ in this psalm.
     
    Thank You Jesus for being the one in charge of all on Earth! Your overseeing means I don’t have to worry; You will take of all. I know You will make sure everyone and everything is taken care of one way or the other.
    B. Ask the Lord to help you trust Him in the midst of unfair circumstances in your life and allow Him to be your King.
     
    Dearest Lord, I am in complete trust of You. I know You will take care of me. I know we don’t have the best children, the most money, or the easiest time of things. However, we have You. Thank You. Sometimes the money issues make me falter in faith. Please help me continue to trust You. Sometimes I wonder why my children struggle so much. Please help me remember You are the One who knows their futures and loves them even though they are misguided and SO earthly. I pray my husband and children may know You as I do, and may have the faith that You are in control. Amen.
    (Optional: Pray this for your family members as well.)

    1. Laura-d, love your honest prayer, and I agree with you in prayer for your husband and children to know Him as you do. It is amazing to see how you have drawn nearer to Him in your great struggles and the fruit He is producing in you.

    2. Oh, my, Laura dancer, I LOVE your heart. Your prayer for your family applies so well to my own. I did pray it for my own as well. We are so messed up, but thank God He loves us and is in control.

  31. The title of this study, “Transform Your Prayer Life In 2014 The Psalms”, caught my eye three days ago. I would come back to the site day after day. Was the Holy Spirit drawing me to sign-up? Yes.
    So I signed-up and am anticipating how Jesus will show Himself to us. May God quicken us and give us understanding as we pray the Psalms.
     

    1. So glad you have joined us Cindy!

      1. Thank you Elizabeth.

    2. Hey, Cindy from PA,Yes, I would agree that the Holy Spirit is drawing you.  Glad you joined us 🙂

    3. Welcome Cindy!

    4. Hi Cindy…so glad that you decided to post.  Isn’t it funny how the Lord keeps nudging…:)  Welcome!

  32. Thank you Renee, because the Mike Reeves (under the tree picture) will not connect for me.
    Welcome back. Angela, Julie and Nanci and to all you new gals…Welcome!

    Laura, I’m praying for you sweet sister.

  33. 9. There is much here but I want you to particularly share:
     
    A. What stood out to you
     
    We often think that Psalms is used to compliment a ‘me’ obsession..and that the great thing is that they reflect similar emotions believers have. If Psalms is fundamentally about showing a range of emotions of the life situations we get it will be shallow. But if it is about something else and not about our emotions, but about something deeper-it address the emotions that do come up in the psalms much better.  
     
    The way he interpret’s Psalms fits into how he sees the other wisdom books. He doesn’t think they are handy tips for the believer’s life. Wisdom literature deliberately makes you question or think in order not to give you handy hints of how to do life but in order to woo you to know the Lord better.  LOVED THIS!
     
    B. His perspective on how to read the psalms — what do you think?
     
    We can’t cherry pick a Psalm based on how we are feeling and apply it-it is a bit like Handel’s Messiah-he strings together prophecies of the old testament in a right order to tell you the story of the Messiah. You have all the individual songs but they do work one after the other-that is what is going on in the Psalms. Psalms is one work made up of different songs that all points to the Messiah-the Psalms is Messianic. 
     
    C. His comparisons to the 1st book of Psalms with the 1st book of Moses – what do you remember?
     
    As Moses wrote the five books of the law David writes the 5 books of Psalms. 
     
    I do see “some” of what he says about Psalms relating to Genesis-I see it especially in Psalm 8..but I think his point is to teach us to not look just at the Psalm and cherry pick it as standing alone-but to see how it connects to the rest of Scripture.

  34. 10. Read Psalm 3 and then pray as follows:
    A. Praise God for Christ’s suffering for you and His trust in God during His suffering. Lord, that you would face tens of thousands assailing you and yet not falter, is amazing  but the fact that you did it for me is beyond comprehension. To suffer at the cost of my sin (and that of all that you love [everyone]) and love me despite the price our relationship cost you brings me to my knees as I am in awe of your long suffering devotion and care. 
     
    B. Ask God to help Christ’s fullness dwell in you that you might trust during your suffering, clinging to Him. God, please dwell in me, fill me so that I may be the fragrance of Christ, that my heart would align with You and trust would be my reaction and not a choice. I am assailed by many but nowhere near tens of thousands, may You grant the confidence of Christ in me, that I would know You well enough to not falter in the face of my foes but instead that Your power in me would give me strong roots and trunk to withstand circumstances and still drink deeply from Your waters. Forgive my passive attitude and renew my desire and perspective to seek you and drink deep of the ever lasting water day and night. Amen. 

  35. 10. Read Psalm 3 and then pray as follows:
    A. Praise God for Christ’s suffering for you and His trust in God during His suffering
     
    O Lord, thank You for the Cross. So many rose against You, and still do—but You have taken it all upon Yourself. You called out to the Father. You had no fear. You lay down and slept—You were separated from God. You awoke again on the 3rd day—I praise Your resurrection! Thank You Lord for the gift of salvation because of Your suffering for me.
     
    B. Ask God to help Christ’s fullness dwell in you that you might trust during your suffering, clinging to Him.
     
    Lord, I ask that You might so deeply dwell in every part of my veins, that in my suffering I will turn only to You. That my instinct in pain would be to call upon You, to trust fully in You. To follow Your example of enduring suffering for the sake of the Gospel. I will cling to You—where else would I go, Lord? Nothing else sustains, all other anchors sink in the waves of true pain. But You are a shield about me, Lord. You lift MY head. Thank You

  36. 7. READ THE PSALM AND THEN PRAY AS FOLLOWS:
    A. A sentence of praise for what you learned about Christ: Oh that you Jesus can be my Water of Life, that as I look to you and meditate on truth you secure me, you promise to make me fruitful, real life comes freely to me as I abide!
    B. A plea that He would so dwell in you that His desires would be your desires, and that He would help you meditate day and night (Optional — pray through Psalm 1 for your loved ones) Oh Lord I do want this. To be still and not restless. To believe in your love and look to you so completely that I am at rest. I want to really be in step with your heart, to be useful, to grow in love for others. Please keep your truths before me, tune my ear to hear your gentle voice and to know the way you would have me walk in, I do not want to lean on my own understanding. Lead me in paths of righteousness for your names sake. Oh Lord that my children and there spouses would not walk with sinners or sit with scoffers, how I pray that they will delight in you and your law
    Make them Lord to be people who abide in you, who draw life from you, give them a longing for you
     
    Oh God please do not have let my children be those who will be blown away like chaff, Please have mercy on them, draw them
     
    No one can stand without your mercy, draw my family members Lord that they might turn from darkness to light in a way that undeniably glorifies you
     

  37. I am so excited about this study.  I am ready

    1. Hazel–so good to have you join us, love your enthusiasm!

    2. Welcome to you Hazel, I love the name Hazel

    3. Welcome, Hazel…glad that you’ll be joining the psalms study.

    4. Welcome, Hazel!  Glad you are here, excited and ready 🙂

  38. What stood out to you That wisdom literature is to woo and entice us to know the Lord better, also I love his humility & teaching style, how he invites discussion and presents himself as a fellow student

    The Sons of Korah bits made me think I want to read a chronological bible at some point
    B. His perspective on how to read the psalms — what do you think? The analogy to Handel’s Messiah, one work made up of different songs (in order) all about Christ, not us! I found this really intriguing, seeing the progression in the Psalms according to Genesis was really cool and something I had never heard, Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!
     
    C. His comparisons to the 1st book of Psalms with the 1st book of Moses – what do you remember? The tree planted by the water pointing to to tree of life Psalm 8 ‘the man’ everything being subjected to him, Adam & Christ….the day evening cycle, creation, crucifixion…that was wow

    1. Chris–so agree with this on Reeves “how he invites discussion and presents himself as a fellow student”–so like Dee in that way, isn’t he?!

      1. Like Dee yes!
        I feel that it invites depth of thought that isn’t welcomed by some teachers.If the group isn’t invited to question or even challenge the discussion it is easier to mentally check out.

    2. “I love his humility & teaching style, how he invites discussion and presents himself as a fellow student”
      I agree…I noted similarly that Reeves humility is wonderful; he acknowledges that he doesn’t “know it all” and is open to learning from his students.

      I also agree that this is a quality shared by our beloved bible study leader, Dee…:)

  39. 10. Read Psalm 3 and then pray as follows:
    A. Praise God for Christ’s suffering for you and His trust in God during His suffering
     
    Dear God my Heavenly Father:
    Words are so inadequate to express how wonderful, magnificent, and awesome it is that Jesus was willing to face all those who opposed Him, and to take on not only my sin but that of all mankind.  Many said that You would not deliver Him, but You did in the most miraculous way — by raising Him from death!   I can only imagine how much suffering there was for Him on the cross, and it hurts to even think about it.  His example of trusting you completely is one I want to follow in my life whenever my various pains rise up to confront me.  Help me remember to trust, dear God, let me feel your shield around me at those times.

    B. Ask God to help Christ’s fullness dwell in you that you might trust during your suffering, clinging to Him. 
    I ask that your Holy Spirit will fill me and cover me that I can face all that life brings me.  I want to cling to you at all times.  You are my only true refuge — nothing or no one else even comes close!   I also ask that you will help my husband and two  daughters (and my one daughter’s fiance)  to feel your love about them so strongly and to also cling to you throughout all of life’s obstacles.  O God,  I commit myself and all that I have and love into your hands for your care and guidance.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen. 
     
    (Optional: Pray this for your loved ones as well.)

    1. Deanna–this is a beautiful prayer. I will pray with you for your family to feel His love “about them so strongly and to also cling to you throughout all of life’s obstacles.” Amen

  40. 10. Read Psalm 3 and then pray…

    Father, I praise you that you, in love, allowed your son to suffer, to face the most extreme, horrible, unimaginable evil and suffering for me.  Thank you, Jesus, for becoming fully human, enduring ridicule, pain, and torture for me, in my place.
     
    Oh God, I plead that Christ’s fullness would dwell in me so thoroughly that I trust you during difficult times, knowing that you are my shield, that you lift my head.  Grant me the grace to cry to you first rather than complain to others.  Thank you for answering my cries with sleep and sustenance, for restoring me even as I sleep.  Lord, I smile as I read “I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.”  I’m not that famous!  But I am afraid of a few people, and minor events trigger those fears.  Please forgive me for fearing them more than I trust in and fear you.  My heart longs for you; yet my emotions waiver and fears seem unpredictable.  Thank you, God, that nothing is unpredictable to you.  Therefore, I can say “I will not be afraid of people who have set themselves against me.”

    Father, I know that nothing is too big for you; you know my weaknesses.  I know that if trauma can “wire” me so that fear is an automatic response with specific triggers/people, you can rewire me so that I focus on you immediately when those triggers occur. Please rewire me.  Forgive me for relying on my own fear as a means of self-protection when you are my protector and my shield. I will trust you, who gave so much for me.
    In Jesus name

    And P.S., God, vs 3 says “But you, O Lord, are … my glory.”  I don’t know what this means, but please make it true for me.  Thank you for the timing of the study of this specific Psalm and the panic trigger this morning.  Help all of us to say often “I will trust in you” in good times as well as hard times.

    1. Renee! I could copy and paste this whole thing. You had me with ” Grant me the grace to cry to you first rather than complain to others”! And I love this too “forgive me for fearing them more than I trust in and fear you”. I need that. Sorry for your “panic trigger” this morning–but thankful He has you.

      1. Elizabeth, The panic trigger was a huge BLESSING.  The trigger was a (positive) statement in a newspaper article that didn’t even involve me, even turned out to be a misquote. To have this happen at the same time we were praying Psalm 3 was God’s timing.  I could see so clearly how one of my panic responses barely goes through my brain — it almost automatic, even when it has no basis in current reality.  Psalm 3 allowed me to examine that response in light of what Jesus suffered for me.  The combination of Psalms 1, 2, and 3 were so powerful, and I wouldn’t have experienced His GRACE in this situation, absorbing the knowledge of His power in a “real” panic situation when I wasn’t at any risk.  

        1. Renee–this spoke to me and my own tendency to panic–“I could see so clearly how one of my panic responses barely goes through my brain — it almost automatic…” and then ” to examine that response in light of what Jesus suffered for me.” wow. Good for me to hear this, thank you.

    2. Oh, Renee. What a beautiful prayer! Right now I am exhausted from having family around for the last many days and it doesn’t take much to trigger hurt and fears. 

       My heart longs for you; yet my emotions waiver and fears seem unpredictable.  Thank you, God, that nothing is unpredictable to you. 

  41. Lord Jesus, how I thank you for your suffering for me, even to the point of death and separation from the Father, to take my evil ways upon yourself and cause them to be purged, and me to be washed clean.  How I thank you for providing the clear example of how to suffer, being totally reliant on the Father’s ways and purposes.  How I thank you that you have promised that you will be with me always, and, yes, how I hold fast to this promise for the times that I am privileged to walk through the deep waters.  You are a shield around me, you lift my head, you hear my cries and you sustain me.  I will not be afraid.

    1. Jean–this prayer is beautiful “…privileged to walk through the deep waters.” wow.

  42. I only joined yesterday (Jan. 2) and am still pondering Psalm 1 and asking the Holy Spirit to give the spirit off wisdom and revelation to me so that I may come to know more of Him in Psalm 1.
    A. A sentence of praise that you learned about Christ.
    That He alone is the only righteous one and I praise God I am united with Jesus, He is my wisdom  my righteousness and so much more.
    The good news is Jesus is the only person who ever lived who fulfilled Psalm 1.  WOW!
     
    B. Ask the Lord to help you trust Him in the midst of unfair circumstances in your life and allow Him to be your King.
    As I see who you truly are, may I lean hard on you and trust you in the unfair circumstances of my life and that you are with me, my King.
    And Lord for the members here who are currently facing unfair circumstances may Jesus, who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, come forth in them and be to them what they need, whether it is strength, wisdom, discernment, guidance, and may they have a greater hunger and thirst to know you more. May they see you larger than any unfair circumstance they be facing today. Quicken us all.
     
     
     

    1. Cindy–thank you for your prayer for us all–“May they see you larger than any unfair circumstance they be facing today”

  43. Good day to all!
    Before I officially post my answers for the first time, I would like to share briefly on myself. I am a 41 year old, I accepted Christ as Lord and Savior 15 years ago. I have 2 daughters, 21 and 17 they also walk with the Lord. My husband of 21 years is not a believer. Transition seems to be my season as I move from being super mom (both positive and negative) to whatever God has for me next. I learned of this blog when a group I facilitate did “Idol Lies”.   I look forward growing closer to the Lord through in depth study, learning more about and through all of you and what it looks like to be in an online community.
    I hope its ok I will start  with:
    9. A. What stood out to you: What stood out to me is his point of seeing the Psalms as primary about us instead of being about Christ. It rang true with a quote I read recently
     “ I want to place personal experience under the authority of the Bible and not over it. I want to set the Bible before us as the text by which we live our lives, this text that stands in such sturdy contrast to the potpourri of *religious psychology,*self-development,*mystical experimentation,*devotional dilettantism (a dabbling with the things of God in a superficial way) That has come to characterize so much of what takes cover under the umbrella of “spirituality” –Eugene Peterson
    B. I find it highly interesting, I always thought of Psalms as a bunch of songs or poems never with any continuity.
    C. I remember that he compared creation to parts of the Psalms.

    1. Tammy Jo–so good to learn more about you, thanks for sharing that. I will pray now for your husband, I know that must be so painful. Thankful your children do know the Lord, what a blessing. Glad to have you here with us!

      1. Thank you Elizabeth. I am extremely grateful my daughters are truly following and growing and sharing! Yes 15 yrs of being unequally yoked has been heart wrenching at times. I see so clearly though God’s faithfulness to me through it all.

    2. Welcome Tammy Jo

      1. Thank you Chris. 

      1. Thank you, Dee. 

    3. Welcome, Tammy Jo!  So good to have you here!

    4. Welcome Tammy Jo – and thanks for taking time to tell us a bit about yourself. I am also married to a husband who is not a believer and it can be hard, and lonely when you cannot share that part of your life. I’m glad you’ve joined us!

  44. Sorry I am super behind this week – my mom just arrived from the US yesterday (after 60 hours of travel due to delays) to visit us and her new adopted granddaughter! It’s such a huge blessing to have her here for a few weeks! 🙂
     
    Anyways, I’m afraid this might be a rather superficial observation, but when I read Psalm 2 I can’t help but think of Handel’s “Messiah” – all the arias about “Why do the nations so furiously rage together”, “Let us break their bonds asunder”, etc. I’m a sucker for Handel – so it’s cool how Handel used Psalm 2 as the basis for several of the pieces in his larger work that all point to the story of the MESSIAH, Jesus Christ!

    1. oh Rachel! I remember you telling us you were getting ready to adopt your daughter! So exciting! And love that your mom is there with you–enjoy!

  45. Just a quick question about online blog etiquette. Should we answer all questions? Share even our prayers? I see some doing that. Also how do you guys keep up with all the comments? Do you feel free to speak to anyone? I see a lot of struggles, should I feel free to pray/speak to anyone?

    1. Tammy Jo–great questions! Answer as many or as little questions as you care to. Some of us have been here for several years–me the last 3, and other longer–and we often do share our prayer requests and prayers here as needed. The Lord has blessed this blog with a very rare (and unexpected online!) fellowship. But only share what you are comfortable with. And yes, feel free to pray/speak to anyone–I call this my blog “family”! But no pressure for answering questions–or sharing. And as for keeping up with the comments…I use a different (free) email for blog comments, just so I keep it separate from work/family time and I open this email when I have time to read.  But you also don’t have to “subscribe”–only if you want to receive them in your email. Also, this is typically the busiest time of year on the blog, and then things tend to slow down to an easier pace. That said, don’t feel like you need to keep up with all the comments–Dee’s study is the most important piece. Hope that helps, but keep asking if not 🙂 Glad you’re here!

      1. Thank you Elizabeth! That clarifies things for me a bit. 

        1. Tammy Jo,  I totally agree with Elizabeth.  The most important part is the Bible study, whether or not you post the answers.

          I don’t always keep up.  I’ve been semi-keeping up this week because I’m on break. During our study on Song of Songs, I think I was MORE engaged spiritually, be posting less.  Partly because my life was so crazy and partly because Dee’s questions during the first few days grabbed me so much, I found myself pondering what I dug into early in the week for the entire week — and it was GOOD!  It took the whole week for some concepts to travel from my brain to my heart.

           I’m impressed that you asked the questions.  I think some people don’t last long because of all the posts at the beginning of a new study.  This week, even on break, I have been overwhelmed with all the comments and only have been reading those right in front of my face on the computer screen.  Those might be comments right above mine if I am coming to post an answer or wherever I happen to stop in the process of scrolling!  (Not necessarily recommending that approach, but it’s about all I can do right now).

          I haven’t posted answers to all questions this week, though I did answer more than I might have if I were at work all day.  Sometimes I don’t post if others have “said it all.” And even when I did post, I didn’t always answer directly 😉   e.g., I didn’t write the prayers for a couple of the questions this week; I was praying those psalms but not always in words that I could write.It spooks me to share too specifically here because it is so public, but as Elizabeth said, please feel free to share what you are comfortable sharing. (Ugh–  I’ve been here a long time and still haven’t posted my pic, but I have to update other stuff this week so may post my pic for a couple of days and then switch it to something generic.  I’m pretty open in face to face life, but posting with no anonymity makes me kinda nervous — maybe because I’m good at finding stuff online. During the past couple weeks, I’ve gotten sick seeing the silhouette and figured that it is time).  Sometimes I post prayer requests, but I’m not comfortable posting those that either might identify others or get me in trouble.

          ELIZABETH, I love the idea of a separate email account for posts!  I had decided not to receive the posts in my email because when I did try it I couldn’t keep up with all the emails and still respond to other emails I had to answer.

          Well, that was LONG, but I don’t want anyone to be intimidated if they aren’t able to post answers to everything or read all the comments. This is an amazing group and a wonderful privilege to be in a Bible Study that Dee is leading.

  46. What a relief elizabeth, I’m so glad you clarified and made it easier for me to understand the group guidelines that Tammy Jo asked you about.
    First, I am glad I joined group and I am challenged at the same time. Let me explain the challenging part and why I was glad to read about online etiquette for the group here.
    My personality is one of wanting to do <strong>EVERYTHING</strong> here that is suggested and I know in the past, I can easily get burned out and instead of enjoying my relationship with Christ Jesus and getting to know Him more, it begins to feel more like drudgery and something I must do. Like trying harder to get it right, I gave up white knuckle club a long time ago, and no longer have a need to go back there 🙂
    This time I want to be more sensitive to the Holy Spirit and what His meaning is, in the Psalms, instead of relying on my human wisdom and understanding.
    Even though I will not be checking in everyday, I’m asking our glorious Father to give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation so that we may know Christ Jesus more as we pray through the Psalms.   
     

  47. What a relief elizabeth, I’m so glad you clarified and made it easier for me to understand the group guidelines that Tammy Jo asked you about.
    I am glad I joined the group but it is also going to be challenging for me. Let me explain the challenging part, that way you can get a little glimpse into who I am.
    My personality is one of wanting to do <strong>EVERYTHING</strong> here that is suggested and I know in the past, I can easily get burned out and instead of enjoying my relationship with Christ Jesus and getting to know Him more, it begins to feel more like drudgery and something I must do. Like trying harder to get it right. I gave up the white knuckle club a long time ago, and no longer have a need to go back there 🙂
    During this time together, I would like to be more sensitive to the Holy Spirit and what His meaning is, in the Psalms, instead of relying on my human wisdom and understanding like I’ve done so many times in the past.
    I know there will be some days I will not be able to check in, but please know, I’m asking our glorious Father to quicken His word, that our hearts would burn within us, as the Psalms are opened up to us as we hear the living Word speak to u, just like He spoke to the disciples in Luke 24 concerning Himself.
     

    1. Cindy–how I love your heart! I can relate to wanting to be a good student and do everything…but Dee’s teaching and this blog is the furthest from any kind of works-based study. We all desperately lean on grace here! I was once in a study where you couldn’t share if you hadn’t done your work–and it isn’t like that at all here! Just think of this as a warm place of fellowship that points you ultimately to time with Him. In the years I have been with this group, I cannot say I answered everything or anything “well’, but what has changed the most in my life is my intimacy with the Lord–knowing His deep love for me in a way I never grasped before.  I love your desire to let the Holy Spirit teach you in the Psalms–I echo that prayer. Glad you are with us!

      1. elizabeth, I just gave a long sigh when I read your reply to me.

         “Just think of this as a warm place of fellowship that points you ultimately to time with Him.”

        Now that made my heart leap for joy.