Psalms Part Two: Dive
THE POWER OF A POEM
The army was ready, fierce, full of fight and anger! Ready to go into battle. They had been marching together for days and with every day they marched, their anger and determination increased. With such power and strength in their ranks, there was no thought of defeat. They were so close, they had entered Judah and now it was time to conquer their enemy. But as they entered, they heard it, the weirdest sound an army could hear. The most terrifying sound that this enemy had ever heard. It fell upon their ears and quickly travelled with terror into their hearts. This can’t be, their ears must be deceiving them? They are supposed to be terrified at the sound of our army, haven’t they heard that we are coming, why are they not cowering in fear, quivering in intimidation, but no…. no, I hear singing. They are calling on their God, they are worshipping Jehovah. And with that, this enemy was defeated!
Just because we are in the book of Psalms, I thought I would be a little creative with the Dive this week. The above story is found in 2 Chronicles 20 and today I want to remind you of the power of praise. As you read the Psalms, these are not nice little poems for bedtime stories, the Psalms are declarations and songs of praise that defeat the enemy. Sometimes when we read the Psalms because they are found in poetry form they can be relegated to a hymn. But remember when you pray the Psalms over your life you are declaring the power of God and the Word of God over your life. You are activating God to move, just like in 2 Chronicles 20 – all they did was worship and God defeated the enemy. The authority of this book is recognised in the New Testament as you see it referenced over and over again as the proof text that Jesus is the Messiah, the text literally establishes the identity of Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God. They didn’t think of these words as harmless little poems but the truth of the Word of God!
So today, get your praise on! Realise the power of praise released in these Psalms! That is why I love the Psalms, these are songs, hymns to God. Supposed to be sung and declared over our lives. Celebrated, honest and open declarations!
One time I went to a conference and the main speaker taught us to pray the Psalms. At first, I thought he was a weirdo, but after a couple of minutes of wrestling with my embarrassment and ‘too cool for school’ attitude, I did it and it was really amazing.
When you don’t know what to pray, try praying the Psalms. This is how it works, as you are reading your Bible, one particular Psalm will just resonate with you, it will feel like it just expresses everything you are feeling at that moment in your life. It might be a Psalm of repentance, it might be a Psalm of praise, a Psalm of lament. Highlight it and then the next time you are having your prayer time and you are lost for words, open your Bible and just read the first line of the Psalm and expand on it in your own words. Then the next line, read it out and then expand. Psalm 9 is a great start:
For the director of music. To the tune of “The Death of the Son.” A psalm of David.
I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.
This is such a great way to get your praise back when you are feeling discouraged. Telling your soul, that I will give thanks to the Lord with all your heart and then start giving thanks to God for all he has done. Then read the next line, I will tell of all your wonderful deeds, then thank God for specifically what he has done in your life: the incredible gift of salvation, or thanking Jesus for all he did on the Cross. It is a great way to express your thoughts to God, praying through the Psalms, praising along with David, Moses and Solomon. You don’t have to do this every time you pray, God wants to hear your voice not a rehearsed set of words. But if you do get lost for words in your prayer time or you’ve lost your praise, pray the Psalms. It is really amazing!
Imagine the enemy at the beginning of this blog listening to you, you are supposed to be defeated, you are supposed to be sick, you are supposed to be discouraged but no, let him hear your voice, let him be intimidated right back by the power of your praise.
As you read the Psalms today let it release the power of praise in your Spirit again. Meditate on one and repeat it over and over again throughout the day, let it wash over you and renew your mind and Spirit. Don’t underestimate the power of these Psalms and the praise contained within them. Activate it today! Don’t be deceived, it may look like a poem, meek and powerless but it is the Word of God, living and active, like a double edge sword ready to take on the enemy!
The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.