Recently I was approached with the issue of whether Psalms are hymns or prayers. The incident helped me realize how some believers may be confused about the use of the Psalms.
Luckily, in Theology school while studying the book of Psalms, we were taught its connection to prayer. Borrowing from this knowledge and my years of experience using the Psalms in my ministry, I wrote this article to answer the question, “Are Psalms prayers?”
While the Bible does not directly refer to psalms as prayers, theologians argue that God gave psalms to show believers how to pray. They explain that psalms serve a wide range of purposes in Christian life, one of them being, a prayer guide.
In this article, journey with me as I explore the types of prayers that you can pray using psalms and how to use psalms to pray.
Ensure you read until the end to gain a full understanding of the uses of Psalms.
What does it mean to pray in psalms?
Scholars explain that praying Psalms is using the writing of the book of Psalms in your prayers. They argue that you use them in writing, reading, meditating about them, and even in singing.
Believers have it that referring to the psalms in prayers makes your prayers powerful.
How do you use psalms to pray?
Theologians suggest that the psalms cover the whole life of a man. They, therefore, argue that in every situation that you may find yourself in, there is a psalm that goes with that.
They explain that you only identify the psalm that goes with your situation and read through it, meditate upon it, and memorize it.
Christians believe that psalms are the best guide for prayers.
How are psalms important for prayers?
Believers have it that Jesus used psalms to pray. In Matthew 27:46, Jesus refers to Psalms 22:1, which was a cry to God when David felt like God had forsaken him: “About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ (which means ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’).”
In the context of Matthew 27:46, Jesus was in His crucifixion, and He also felt like God had forsaken Him. Theologians have explained that in the Psalms are found the answers to all the troubling feelings of man.
They say that praying psalms takes away all the troubles that you have.
What types of prayer can you pray from the psalms?
It is believed that the psalms cover the whole scope of life.
Scholars hold that there are several types of prayers that you can pray using psalms, some of which include thanksgiving prayers, lamenting prayers, noble prayers, wisdom prayers, and prophetic prayers.
Each of these prayers is referenced in a particular psalm in the Book of Psalms. For example, thanksgiving prayer is drawn from Psalms 95:1-5, psalms 100:4, psalms 136:2, etc.
All these chapters of the book of Psalms talk of giving thanks to God.
4 Prayers You can pray from the psalms
Christians use psalms to pray on different occasions. Some of these prayers are:
Prayer for protection
Our Father in heaven, I give you praise. You are the one who has given me strength; you carry me through places that I cannot be able to walk. You lead me, you direct me.
You are my shepherd. You give me all I need and protect me from all dangers. You shield me from my enemies and provide for my needs.
My cup never runs out. You make me comfortable. You are the one I will live with for all days of my life. Amen.-Inspired by Psalms 23.
The psalmist shows the care God takes of him.
Prayer for help
God of heaven and earth, I come to you for help. My heart is broken; my soul is faint. My spirit is weak; I have no strength. The world has no mercy; I have no one to turn to.
You are my only hope. You are the only one I trust. Give me strength, lift my spirit. Raise me again; let my heart rejoice in you again.
To you alone, Lord, I put my trust. In Jesus name, I pray, amen.- Inspired by Psalms 61:1-4,
The psalmist here teaches us that it is in God alone we can find refuge.
My heart rejoices in you, my redeemer, for your goodness and mercy. You have carried me through valleys that I would not have crossed alone. You have restored my joy.
You have taken away my sorrow. You have healed my diseases and made me strong again. What do I offer to you for the things you have done for me?
I come to you with Thanksgiving. I let the whole world know that you are good. I will sing of your praises to glorify your name for what you have done.
Receive my thanksgiving offering, in Jesus’ name I pray, amen.-Inspired by Psalms 100:4
The psalmist shows us that after the good that God has done for him, it is vital to give thanks.
Prayer for healing
Heavenly Father, I pray for healing in my body. Your power can make me whole. You say in your word that no pestilence shall come to me by night.
It is to you that I come for healing. My trust is in you; my hope is in you. I have no one else to run to. You are my strength.
I believe in your healing power, and I believe that I am healed. In Jesus’ name, Amen.-Inspired by Psalms 91:6
In this verse, the psalmist was confident about God’s protection against diseases.
Why are psalms very powerful?
Christians believe that psalms are God’s direction of speaking to Him. Being God’s word, Christians argue that God respects His word and, therefore, cannot fail to fulfill what He says in it.
Secondly, the psalms show a strong bond between the psalmist and God. Believers have it that praying psalms illustrates the strong connection between them and God.
Psalms also serve as a guide to full surrender to God, which believers take as true worship.
What is the most powerful prayer in the Book of Psalms?
Scholars suggest that the most powerful psalm is Psalms 91. It is believed that the chapter covers almost all the needs of a Christian, from protection, healing, provision, worship of God, and even praise to Him.
Christians believe that this psalm expresses the emotions of a believer.
What are the spiritual benefits of praying the psalms?
Theologians explain that praying the Psalms helps believers to express their emotions to God. It is believed that when you open up to God, you become relieved of the problems you are having.
Christians believe that psalms help them to know how to pray and what to pray.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.