Moving now from the purpose of prayer, this morning I began reading the section in Leonard Allen's compilation The Contemporaries Meet the Classics on Prayer, titled the Psalms as Prayer. Martin Luther, writing in 1528, opens with his views on the Psalter. Here are a few of his insights that I found helpful.
Firstly, Luther points out the great divide from one end of the spectrum to the next. In other words, we see the saints during both the good times as well as in the bad times. You might say it spans both the best of times and the worst of times.
Luther adds: "Where does one find finer words of joy than in the psalms of praise and thanksgiving? On the other hand, where do you find deeper, more sorrowful, more pitiful words of sadness than in the psalms of lamentation?"
In the end, Luther suggests that the "Psalter is the book of all saints; and everyone, in whatever situation he may be, finds in that situation psalms and words that fit his case, that suit him as if they were put there just for his sake, so that he could not put it better himself, or find or wish for anything better."
And because just about everyone can find psalms and words that fit them, and that seemingly were put there for their sake, the Psalms become that much more valuable to us as we traverse the ups and downs of life.
I know they speak to me and I trust that God's Word will speak to you this day as you read one of the Psalms. Take your pick- there's plenty of them.