Psalm Response

Help your group members wrote their own psalms.

There are times when I have a difficult time communicating with God. During these times, I often struggle to find the right words to express my joy or my pain in prayer. Thankfully, I have found that reading the Psalms helps me to focus on my experience, my emotions, and my expressions of suffering or gratitude to God. The Psalms beautifully express to God praise, anguish, repentance, faith, anger, and more. Within the Psalms lies every emotion known to humanity, and in them we can find comfort. The Psalms provide an example of how to honestly respond to God as he communicates with us.

During the Bible study portion of your small group meeting, consider asking your members to respond to the scripture studied during your meeting by writing their own Psalm. In preparation, read several psalms and discuss how each is prayerful communication with God.

For example, Psalm 19:7-11 focuses on exalting God and recognizing His attributes:

[7] The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
[8] The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
[9] The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring forever.
The ordinances of the Lord are sure
and altogether righteous.
[10] They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the comb.
[11] By them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.

Psalm 37:3-6 recognizes our need for a Savior:

[3] Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
[4] Delight yourself in the Lord
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
[5] Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
[6] He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

Forgiveness and grace are addressed in Psalm 51:1-2, written after David fell to sexual temptation:

[1] Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
[2] Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.

In Psalm 103:1-5, the psalmist expresses his praise for God as his provider:

[1] Praise the Lord, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
[2] Praise the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
[3] who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
[4] who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
[5] who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

And Psalm 136:1-9 speaks of God's faithfulness:

[1] Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
[2] Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
[3] Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.
[4] to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
[5] who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.
[6] who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.
[7] who made the great lights—
His love endures forever.
[8] the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.
[9] the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.

After sharing some examples with the group, provide each person with a piece of paper, a pen or pencil, and turn on some background worship music. Allow your group at least ten minutes to write their psalm, and then ask for volunteers to share what they wrote. Use the reading of these psalms as your closing prayer time. Encourage your group members to continue to use the writing of psalms in their personal times of prayer.

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