Sing a Psalm


My co-worker and fellow blogger shared this article with me in which the columnist challenged people, in the new year and the new decade, to look at a few things through fresh eyes. The writer listed 52 suggestions, one for every week of the year. This week’s topic is the poetry of King David.

I don’t really like the book of Psalms all that much. I’m embarrassed to say that because I can already hear the backlash. “You don’t like Psalms? How could you not like Psalms?” It’s quite simple actually. I just don’t. I read it and I get bored. My mom and I both read the One Year Study Bible, in which everyday you read a passage from the Old Testament, a passage from the New Testament, a psalm and a proverb. My mom loves Psalms and Proverbs so much that if she’s in a hurry to do her quiet time she will skip the Old and New Testaments and read only the psalm and proverb. Me? I will skip the psalm and proverb just so I can have more time to read the other verses.

Why is that, I wondered. Well for one, I love stories. It’s probably why writing is a good profession for me. I communicate through story, both oral and written. It’s how I learn and how I socialize. So it’s only natural that that would be my preferred way of studying and learning His word. And He knows that. That’s why He gave us stories. He likes a good story too — remember: we were made in his image. Beyond that, we all have unique ways of receiving and learning. As a new Christian the first book my brother-in-law tackled was Revelation. Revelation?!? That hardly seems like the place to begin, but for him that was a natural fit. So even within the stories He has given us, we are each drawn to a certain genre. For my mom, it’s Psalms. My brother-in-law, Revelation. Some really like the letters of Paul; others love the Gospels or Old Testament History. Me? Psalms are not my thing. My thing is something else.

But bigger than Psalms not being my thing, I think that maybe psalms weren’t meant to be read but rather to be sung, and I love to sing! I love to sing praise music specifically, a lot of which come from Psalms. This idea came to me when I was getting ready for church one morning a few weeks ago and one of my favorite praise songs came on the radio.

As the deer panteth for the water
So my soul longeth after thee
You alone are my hearts desire
And I long to worship thee

You alone are my strength my shield
To You alone may my spirit yield
You alone are my hearts desire
And I long to worship thee

You’re my friend and You are my brother,
Even though you are a king.
I love you more than any other,
So much more than anything.

I want You more than gold or silver,
Only You can satisfy.
You alone are the real joy Giver,
And the apple of my eye.

And as I sang along, I had an a-ha moment: “This is psalm!” The first line is based on Psalm 42:1, to be exact. I do like psalms. I just don’t like to read them I guess. I like to sing them. Cool. I can live with that. I can thrive knowing that even because knowing that encourages me to not cut the psalms out of my quiet time, just to sing them instead.


I was so excited to make the discovery that I actually do like Psalms and I was looking forward to writing about it here — on the topic about the poetry of King David — only to research and realize … David didn’t write that particular psalm. Oh well.


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One thought on “Sing a Psalm

  1. As someone who grew up singing hymns and Scripture songs, it was a revelation for me to find out that some groups and churches actually sing psalms extensively. It has changed my life to essentially pray the psalms as I sing.

    In God’s providence, I now work for a nonprofit publisher that produces psalters and psalm-singing materials. If anyone would like to download 5 psalms in PDF form ready to be sung, and 5 mp3 music files of those psalms being sung, you can go to the web site link above. The 5 PDFs and 5 music files are free.

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