Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible Part 1

In follow-up to Who Am I? Bonhoeffer as a Historical Mentor in Prayer, I will explore Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s understanding of the Book of Psalms as The Prayer Book of the Bible and offer some suggestions for our daily practice. I was inspired to dig into this topic by Theology and Practice of Prayer[1].

Question: How do you “read” and/or pray a Psalm as an individual follower of Christ (possibly as a part of your daily practice) AND as a member of a particular Christian tradition (in corporate and/or daily practice)? To begin prayerful consideration of one’s interaction with the Book of Psalms, I encourage you to take time today to read, pray, and reflect upon Psalm 40 AND U2’s 40. Yes, this is an modification of an exercise of compare/contrast which I used in my class presentation — where we began with a responsive reading of Psalm 40. Note: This video of the Vertigo Tour Live From Chicago (2005) fittingly begins with Yahweh and then transitions to 40.

Today, this week, and throughout our years, may we by God’s grace encourage one-another to wait patiently upon the Lord. May we, as the people of God, offer our thanksgiving (new song) to the Lord. May we rejoice in His deliverance not only from the slimy pit(s) we have found ourselves in this term, but also those from past terms.

As the year comes to a conclusion, may we not place your trust in false gods (even ourselves), but instead may we renew your trust in the Lord. Yes, the Lord is the One to whom none can compare, whose very law is written upon our hearts and whose saving acts will be declared [by His grace] by each of us in the great assembly. Yes, the God of Israel who sent His Son as the final and acceptable sacrifice is truly our help and our deliverer. Furthermore, He dwells in us (and all the people of God) through the Holy Spirit each and every step in the academic journey as we so eagerly long for the return of the Son of God. Come, Lord Jesus! Come!

To be continued  . . .


  1. Click here for the related Christian Devotional Classics series. SF/ST 777: Theology and Practice of Prayer. Laurie Mellinger, Ph.D. Evangelical Seminary. Summer 2012. Course Description: This course explores various aspects of the interplay between theology and prayer. What we believe about God determines how and why we pray; this has also been true for Christians throughout the history of the Church. We will examine both historical persons and methods of praying from a variety of Christian traditions, and discuss their potential for deepening our own relationships with God. This course provides the opportunity for students to study and experience a variety of Christian prayer forms, and to discern the theological foundations upon which they rest. We will take a historical approach, discussing prayer in the Scriptures and its application in the lives of persons of prayer throughout the Christian era. We will also consider the place and practice of prayer in the contemporary church, both for individuals and for corporate gatherings. ↩
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Tom Grosh IV

Tom enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa and their four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he teaches adult electives and co-leads a small group), among healthcare professionals as the South Central PA Area Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). The Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine is the hub of his ministry with CMDA. Note: Tom served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA for 20+ years, including 6+ years as the Associate Director of ESN. He has written for the ESN blog from its launch in August 2008. He has studied Biology (B.S.), Higher Education (M.A.), Spiritual Direction (Certificate), Spiritual Formation (M.A.R.), Ministry to Emerging Generations (D.Min.). To God be the glory!

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