2 Ch 10-12; Acts 8; Psalm 106:24-end
One of the grave errors of the contemporary church has been its abandonment of Psalmody as a regular part of the liturgy.
While we are reading through the scriptures I have included the Psalms on a regular cycle by which we pray through them in their entirety 3 times in the year.
Until recent times, such an approach to the Psalms was common place. In the Patristic era many people would pray through them on a daily basis – giving us pause for thought regarding our busy lives in which we say we have ‘no time to pray’. The monastic communities generally prayed [and pray] through them monthly. Of all our habits with regard to Scripture, it could be argued that this regular recitation of the Psalms is the most important.
For, to paraphrase Thomas Merton, alone in the Psalms ‘we have at once God’s word to human beings and the speech of human beings towards God’. Of no other part of Scripture can this be so truthfully said.
Put another way, praying the psalms places us before God in a way no other part of Scripture can do.
Perhaps this is why, in an age when the narcissistic spirit is rife, and humans place themselves without shame at the centre of the story, even that of faith, we so strenuously avoid the Psalms.