search icon search iconSearch A-Z Index Members IconOnline Giving/Members Portal
Close
Members Icon

Visitors

Welcome to the First Presbyterian Church portal. Please choose an option below to see our events, small groups or to give online.

Close

Psalms Study

New content posted weekly from August 9-November 22.

Introduction to Psalm 31

Jesus prayed Psalm 31 from the cross. But it contains a lot more than we didn’t hear him quote but is very meaningful to us.

Psalm 31
 
In you, O LORD, do I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame;
in your righteousness deliver me!
Incline your ear to me;
rescue me speedily!
Be a rock of refuge for me,
a strong fortress to save me!
 
For you are my rock and my fortress;
and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me;
you take me out of the net they have hidden for me,
for you are my refuge.
Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God.
 
I hate those who pay regard to worthless idols,
but I trust in the LORD.
I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love,
because you have seen my affliction;
you have known the distress of my soul,
and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy;
you have set my feet in a broad place.
 
Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress;
my eye is wasted from grief;
my soul and my body also.
For my life is spent with sorrow,
and my years with sighing;
my strength fails because of my iniquity,
and my bones waste away.
 
Because of all my adversaries I have become a reproach,
especially to my neighbors,
and an object of dread to my acquaintances;
those who see me in the street flee from me.
I have been forgotten like one who is dead;
I have become like a broken vessel.
For I hear the whispering of many—
terror on every side!—
as they scheme together against me,
as they plot to take my life.
 
But I trust in you, O LORD;
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hand;
rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!
Make your face shine on your servant;
save me in your steadfast love!
O LORD, let me not be put to shame,
for I call upon you;
let the wicked be put to shame;
let them go silently to Sheol.
Let the lying lips be mute,
which speak insolently against the righteous
in pride and contempt.
 
Oh, how abundant is your goodness,
which you have stored up for those who fear you
and worked for those who take refuge in you,
in the sight of the children of mankind!
In the cover of your presence you hide them
from the plots of men;
you store them in your shelter
from the strife of tongues.
 
Blessed be the LORD,
for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me
when I was in a besieged city.
I had said in my alarm,
“I am cut off from your sight.”
But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy
when I cried to you for help.
 
Love the LORD, all you his saints!
The LORD preserves the faithful
but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the LORD!

Introduction to Psalm 32

There is a gracious freedom that comes from the forgiveness of our wrongdoings and sins. A freedom where we experience the depth of God's character and grace.
 

Psalm 32
 
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
 
For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. 
 
I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
 
Therefore let everyone who is godly
offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found;
surely in the rush of great waters,
they shall not reach him.
You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah
 
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
which must be curbed with bit and bridle,
or it will not stay near you.
 
Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the LORD.
Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart! 

Introduction to Psalm 30

Make time with the LORD a habit. Meet him at the edge of each day with Psalm 30. Hope comes with the morning, the new light, a new day.

Psalm 30

I will extol you, O LORD, for you have drawn me up
and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
O LORD my God, I cried to you for help,
and you have healed me.
O LORD, you have brought up my soul from Sheol;
you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.

Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment,
and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
As for me, I said in my prosperity,
“I shall never be moved.”

By your favor, O LORD,
you made my mountain stand strong;
you hid your face;
I was dismayed.

To you, O LORD, I cry,
and to the Lord I plead for mercy:
“What profit is there in my death,
if I go down to the pit?

Will the dust praise you?
Will it tell of your faithfulness?
Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me!
O LORD, be my helper!”

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,
that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

 
 

Introduction to Psalm 29

There is so much unrest in our culture these days. But God wants to give us rest. Peace. He is holy and powerful. We learn this clearly in Psalm 29.

Verses 1-2:

Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness.

Verses 9-10:

The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth
and strips the forests bare,
and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
The LORD sits enthroned over the flood;
the LORD sits enthroned as king forever.

 

Introduction to Psalm 27: 1-6

David claims the Lord as his light who exposed his enemies. Even when an army sets up camp and wages war against him, even then, David trusts the LORD who will keep him safe. The LORD, his light, is the solution to his fear.

Psalm 27: 1–6

The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
 
When evildoers assail me
to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
it is they who stumble and fall.
 
Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet I will be confident.
 
One thing have I asked of the LORD,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to inquire in his temple.
 
For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will lift me high upon a rock.
 
And now my head shall be lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the LORD.

Introduction to Psalm 25: 8-22

This second part of Psalm 25 is where we can put our roots down and get to know even better why Samuel and Paul both called David a man after God's own heart. It's also a place where we can press deeper into Christ and become men and women after God's own heart.

 

Psalm 25: 8-22

Good and upright is the LORD;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

For your name’s sake, O LORD,
pardon my guilt, for it is great.
Who is the man who fears the LORD?
Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.
His soul shall abide in well-being,
and his offspring shall inherit the land.
The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him,
and he makes known to them his covenant.
My eyes are ever toward the LORD,
for he will pluck my feet out of the net.

Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
The troubles of my heart are enlarged;
bring me out of my distresses.
Consider my affliction and my trouble,
and forgive all my sins.

Consider how many are my foes,
and with what violent hatred they hate me.
Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me!
Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness preserve me,
for I wait for you.

Redeem Israel, O God,
out of all his troubles.

 

Introduction to Psalm 25: 1-7

Remember me not according to the sins of my youth but according to the LORD's own character. He is merciful.
 

 
 
Psalm 25: 1–7
 
To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust;
let me not be put to shame;
let not my enemies exult over me.
Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame;
they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
Make me to know your ways, O LORD;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.
Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!

Responding Personally to Psalms Seminar

Dr. Malcolm Guite of Cambridge University will take us into the purpose of the psalms and delve specifically into Psalms 20-24. Malcolm Guite is a minister in the Church of England, a renowned poet, a rock musician, and was for many years chaplain at Girton College, Cambridge. His specialty is the intersection between faith and the arts. Malcolm is the author of four volumes of his own poetry, several books on theology and literature, the editor of both Advent and Lenten collections of great English poems, and many essays for the Church Times. He has two cuddly greyhounds. And he loves C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and George Herbert so it should be no surprise Gerrit is a huge fan!

Supplemental Handout 

 

Weekly Psalms Readings

Praying the Psalm of the Week Five Different Ways! 
 
Monday: As a Personal Prayer 
 
Read the psalm to get a sense of it. 
Read again, listening for phrases that grab you, then ponder those.
Pray the psalm aloud a third time, as a prayer of your life.
 
Tuesday: As a Prayer of Jesus 
 
Read the psalm once. 
Read the psalm aloud, imagining that Jesus is praying it.
Say “My Father” whenever you see LORD or God.
Ponder at what stage in his life this psalm might have fit Jesus.
Pray the psalm a third time joined to Jesus’ prayers.
 
Wednesday: For Someone You Love
 
Hold someone you love in mind as you read the psalm aloud. Consider how its words relate to their life. Pray it aloud again as if your loved one were praying it. 
 
Thursday: As Part of Community
 
Follow the same pattern, only today pray the psalm imagining that you are surrounded by fellow Christians in a great worship service. Imagine as you pray it aloud twice that everyone is vocalizing it together.
 
Friday: For Someone Who Is Difficult or Hostile
 
Follow the same pattern, only today pray the psalm imagining someone you struggle to love: even, especially, if it seems unlikely this person would ever pray a psalm!  
 
 
 

August 10-14     Psalm 23

 

Restoring Your Soul Through Psalms

This wretched distancing goes on! Yet so does the need to connect to others. And to God. Our hearts are still made to be in communion. So how do we stay connected in isolation? This month we begin a series of interlocking ways to encounter Christ through the Psalms. I’d like to tell you about it in advance of a mailing you’ll receive next week. 
 
For 3,000 years, the LORD’s people have climbed the stairways of words that are the Psalms. By making these prayers their own prayers, they have ascended through psalms straight into God’s presence. The Psalms were the very prayer book of Jesus himself. We find Christ’s heart for his Father when we pray psalms in communion with Jesus. We get drawn close to each other when we pray psalms together and for one another. We even find words to pray for our enemies when we pray psalms on behalf of those hostile to us! Psalms express our souls; they also transform our souls, taking us deeper than we could ever go on our own.
 
This fall, for 100 days, we’re going to hone in on the Psalms. Spiritual riches beyond price reside in these songs. So I’ll be inviting you to engage these psalms in a variety of practices. 
 
Next week, you’ll receive in the actual mail a beautiful bookmark with the schedule of psalms we are studying and five ways—one for each week day—we can pray the psalms with different people in mind. Beginning August 10, each Monday you’ll receive by email a three-minute video introducing the psalm of the week, and then, the following Sunday we’ll use that psalm in worship. And, very exciting to me, for three Sunday evenings at 5 pm, we’ll be launching by livestream special presentations introducing these psalms. Guest speakers include one of my spiritual heroes, Malcolm Guite from Cambridge, and one of Darin’s heroes, Mark Futato from Reformed Theological Seminary. We’re hoping those of you with big TVs and spacious seating areas will host watch parties. And consider joining a Shepherding Through the Psalms group to encourage one another. These groups will consist of 3-6 friends who will weekly connect with each other via a text, phone call, lunch or coffee—whatever works best for you. Spur one another on by discussing what you’re learning from the psalm of the week, how the prayer rhythms are going, and how to intentionally pray for each other. For more information visit fpcbr.org. To sign up as a group shepherd or member, email Kelly Wood.