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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pray The Psalms With Your Children

photo by DrGBB

About two months ago our family attended a Farewell Party for a friend from church who was being deployed for his second tour of duty to Iraq. It was a bittersweet occasion, as you can imagine. There was an awesome cake with little toy jeeps and tanks, a smattering of gifts for him to take overseas and lots of hugs and goodbyes.

One of the gifts presented to Chris was a devotional based on Psalm 91. The couple who brought it, an older gentleman and his wife who are blessed with wonderful wisdom and the gift of encouragement, vowed to pray Psalm 91 over Chris while he was away. They invited us to join them as they read the Psalm aloud, inserting Chris’ name where it was appropriate.

Surely He will save Chris from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover Chris with His feathers, and under His wings Chris will find refuge; His faithfulness will be Chris’ shield and rampart. (Ps. 91:3-4)

Our family had never prayed the Psalms during our devotionals, but we found that once we started praying Psalm 91 over our friend, we began looking for other Psalms to pray over other people. It’s kind of like, why reinvent the wheel when there are so many great devotions we can use right in the Bible?

Missionary friends in Juarez, Mexico, known for its gang-infested streets and drug-related violence, received Psalm 116 as our prayer for them. Danger literally comes to this church’s front door.

The cords of death entangled Terry and Carmen, the anguish of the grave came upon them; they were overcome by trouble and sorrow. Then we called on the name of the Lord: “O Lord, save them!” The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the simplehearted; when Terry and Carmen were in great need, He saved them. (Ps. 116:3-6)

A granddaughter recently graduated with a nursing degree, went through naval basic training and is stationed in San Diego. We’re trying to encourage her toward a dedicated walk with the Lord, so we pray Psalm 20 over her.

May He give Erin the desire of her heart and make all her plans succeed. We will shout for joy when Erin is victorious ad will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all Erin’s requests. (Ps. 20:4-5)

Finally, we prayed Psalm 92 over my husband and for our family in general. We have watched our finances dwindle over the last year and a half after my husband lost his job and was never able to replace his original salary because of the economy. Yet, in spite of all this, he retired this past October. We really don’t have any idea how we’re doing it, but our finances are holding.

It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night, to the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp. (Ps. 92:1-3)

If you’re looking for something different to do with your family devotions or need an idea for how to start, consider praying the Psalms with your children. Feel free to utilize any of the ones I listed, or do the ol’ blind pick - open to Psalms and randomly pick one, determine where it might be appropriate and pray it over that person or situation.

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