Welcome to Summer Psalms!  I can’t wait for this season and all that God is going to do in our hearts.  When I think of Psalms, I think of an old shoebox I have stashed away in our guest room closet (along with one of my father-in-law’s leftover shirts).  Inside the shoebox are hundreds of 3×5 notecards, small pieces of notepad paper, and an old Bible that belonged to my grandpa.  He was my spiritual idol.  Strong yet humble.  Faithful.  Loyal.  Committed.  Even today, I look back on who he was and desire to be more like him.

After he died, my grandma gave me the shoebox filled with hundreds of prayers, devotionals, Bible verses with notes, and visions he was believing God for.  Reading what he wrote while holding the cards he prayed from and picturing him preaching impacted me deeply.

That’s what we have in the Psalms!  In short, the Psalms were Israel’s hymnal – filled with worship, prayers, and declarations of who God was in their seasons of victory, defeat, excitement, and disappointment.

In Hebrew, the name of the Book of Psalms is Tehillim, meaning praises.  Nearly 250 years after the Israelites returned from Babylonian exile, the songs and prayers were collected and put together in the form we have today.  David wrote nearly half of all the psalms.  It’s the longest book in the Old Testament and the most quoted book in the New Testament.  These psalms were used for worship in the temple during the time of Jesus.  We’re holding David’s prayers and declarations in our hands.  We get to read the songs that Jesus sang in the temple!

Approach the book with a heart of worship.  Through valleys, declare the promises found in the Psalms.  On the mountaintops, champion the praises of the Psalms and cheer for God’s glory.  High or low, in or out, up or down, let Psalm 150:6 be the verse that focuses the rest of the Psalms for you:  Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord!