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Responding to God

Responding to God

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Published by Doug Floyd

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Published by: Doug Floyd on Nov 27, 2007
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Responding to God
Seek Him while He may be found.”
 As God reveals Himself, we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God in prayer.Some of the disciplines include various forms of prayer as modeled in the Psalms:RepentanceLamentationAdorationContemplationImprecationIntercessionBreath prayers
I. Praying the Psalms
Martin Luther on Psalms Luther in his preface to the German Psalter (1528) commented: “[Each saint], whatever his circumstances may be, finds in it psalms and words which are appropriate to thecircumstances in which he finds himself and meet his needs as adequately as if they werecomposed exclusively for his sake.” John Calvin on the Psalms:“I have been accustomed to call this book, I think not inappropriately, “An Anatomy of all the Parts of the Soul;” for there is not an emotion of which any one can be consciousthat is not here represented as in a mirror. Or rather, the fears, doubts, hopes, cares, perplexities, in short, all the distracting emotions with which the minds of men are wont to be agitated. The other parts of Scripture contain the commandments which God enjoined his servants to announce to us. But here the prophets themselves, seeing theyare exhibited to us as speaking to God, and laying open all their inmost thoughts and affections, call, or rather draw, each of us to the examination of himself in particular, inorder that none of the many infirmities to which we are subject, and of the many viceswith which we abound, may remain concealed.”
The Name of the book 
cepher (say'-fer) tephillah (tef-il-law') – Books of PrayersThe word psalm is Mizmowr (miz-more’) – A poem set to notes. Melody.Psalms are songs for the lyre, and therefore lyric poems in the strictest sense.(from Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition,Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)Also known “songs of praise.”The book of Psalms is a Liturgical Book of prayers sung by the community of faith.
Historical use of Psalms - Types of Psalms – Structure of Psalm book 
Cross Shaped Spiritual Formation, Class 3 Responding to God, Doug Floyd, 1
Who wrote the psalms? Many different people over a long range of time.Poetry plays a role in the birth and ongoing sage of the nation. It becomes a way of rallying all the people behind a common theme and vision.Some Psalms in OTMoses (Ex. 15; Deut 32)Deborah (Judges 5)Hannah (1 Samuel 2)David (represents the golden age—poet king) – David suggests the poetic gift is fromGod (2 Sam 23:2 - "The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, and His word was onmy tongue.”Isaiah (Book of Isaiah)Hezekiah (Is. 38:9-20)Habbakuk (Hab 3:2-19)Jonah (Jonah 2:1-9)Job (Throughout book of Job)Jeremiah (Book of Jeremiah and Lamentations)Psalmody is central to David’s life and rule. We see him writing songs long before hisroad to kingship as a shepherd and then later to soothe King Saul, and even on the runfrom Saul.In one sense, it may have been part of the glue which brought the twelve tribes together as one nation under one king.See 1 Chronicles 15 – 16:4, 23:5Psalmody flourishes under David and continues (at a lesser level) under future kings.Hezekiah revives the psalmist function.Psalmody is revived during and after exile. Many believe that after the exile, possiblyduring the time of Ezra, various books of Psalms were collected and edited into the bookswe have now. There are five books of Psalms.Five different books. These books are marked off by doxologies consisting of priestly benedictions, “Praise be to the LORD,” and the congregation's responses, “Amen,” at theend of Ps 41, 72, 89, 106.
Practical or Spiritual Theology of the Psalms
In the Psalms, our history becomes intertwined with the history of the Covenant people of God. I begin to identify with their story. Their story becomes my story.In a sense, the Psalms tell the spiritual history of Israel or the spiritual history of the Soulin the covenant community.
Cross Shaped Spiritual Formation, Class 3 Responding to God, Doug Floyd, 2
The psalms are man’s response to the initiative of God. It is God who draws the psalmsforth from his people. The psalms are songs for the journey, the pilgrimage of faith. The psalms represent theology at work in real life and enable later readers to use them moreappropriately in corresponding specific situationsThe psalms were crafted for use by the community. So even when David or another  psalmist is reflecting on a very personal experience, they write giving voice for the wholecommunity.While influenced by the poetry of surrounding culture, the psalms are distinct becausethey are grounded in historical reality.The psalm is often a vehicle for the community to remember the action of God in historyon behalf of the covenant people. There is a sense in remembering that the people of Godreenter into the reality and dramatic energy of the event remembered. (Think of communion.)Christianity is at heart a narrative religion. We have a story to tell. In the story, we cometo realize the faithfulness of God. We come to see our story as intertwined in with thestory of God’s action in history. And ultimately, we see all of history unfolded in light of God’s purposes. All history derives meaning from God’s action. Thus GK Chesterton cansay that there is only one story.As we focus on God’s action, we realize that ritual is not a magical way to change our world but a form of remembering the action of God.
Types of Psalms
1 Chron 16:4“Then he appointed some of the Levites as ministers before the ark of the LORD,to invoke, to thank, and to praise the LORD, the God of Israel.”(1)Petition, Complaint,(2)Thanksgiving is focused upon a specific action of God to help his people.(3)Praise poems focus on God’s greatness over all things.Through our whole lives we move through these forms of prayer.
Methods for meditating on Psalms
A.The Father speaks to us through the Son in the power of the Holy Spirit. A triuneapproach recognizes that all our meditating and study of the Psalms is alwaysdependent upon the action of God. Plus every person has a unique relationshipwith God and will be guided in specific ways and through specific “methods.”The Holy Spirit is working in the Psalms to draw us to Jesus. So pay attention to
Cross Shaped Spiritual Formation, Class 3 Responding to God, Doug Floyd, 3

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