Making the Psalms Your Own

I’ve heard various ways of relating to the Scripture and how to make it cling to our hearts and in our lives, from singing verses over ourselves to replacing the “you’s” with “me’s” and inserting your own name into the promises. Both of those examples are great ideas, but didn’t really seem to work for me–they didn’t seem to strike a nerve in my faith.

Last year, though, I joined a Beth Moore Bible study about the  “Psalms of Ascent,” where we’re studying Psalms 120-134. One of the things I especially like about this study is that upon studying each of these psalms and ruminating on them, she had us rewrite them in regards to what they mean to us and regarding the emotions and circumstances of our own life.

Though there are some Psalms that I definitely identify with and will pray, word-for-word, there are others that I just think, “This doesn’t apply to me, at all,” whether it’s times when David talks about his enemies hunting him down or fleeing and hiding and near-death misses or being righteous and without blame. I don’t ever really feel that way, so often I’d just breeze past and dismiss those sections. But as I started rewriting the Psalms in this study, I started seeing that if I truly took the time to reflect on them, there is a connection to my life. Oftentimes, I’m too impatient to discover it, though. There’s the beauty of this exercise–making the Bible more personal. Much of the Bible is God’s Word to us, but the Psalms reflect humans’ words to God. So it’s beautiful to take another person’s prayers, draw from them, and make them your own.

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