The Psalms – Week 9

Psalms are prayers that have been prayed by the people of God for millennia, and as such, we ought to continue in that tradition. One of the most unique aspects of being human is our ability to use tools. And “prayers are tools.” But there’s one important clarification: “Prayers are not tools for doing or getting [as we’re used to in our Western culture], but for being and becoming… At the center of the whole enterprise of being human, prayers are the primary technology. Prayers are tools that that God uses to work his will in our bodies and souls. Prayers are tools that we use to collaborate in his work with us.” (Eugene Peterson — ‘Answering God’).

“Israel had eras of great spiritual fruitfulness and vitality (verses 1–3) marked by joy (verse 2). But communities of faith often have “Negev” times of great spiritual dryness. (The Negev was an arid, desertlike land.) Sometimes a flood of God’s Spirit comes down powerfully and suddenly, like the streams from distant mountain rainstorms, and the community is restored dramatically (verse 4). But there is also a slower path to renewal. Those who “sow with tears” (verses 5 and 6) are those who have painstakingly prayed and wept over their own sins and also over people without faith. As in actual farming, sowing does not show immediate fruit. But faithful prayer and service will eventually bear fruit. The desert will become a garden (Isaiah 35:1–2).” (Keller, Timothy. The Songs of Jesus)

Check out the sermon below.