Uttered in praise, joy, sorrow, and despair, spoken or sung in private and in public, the Psalms have served as the prayer book and the hymnbook to generations of believers.
The Psalms are a source of blessing, hope, and revival, a guide for both self-reflection and reflection on God's greatness, liberating when one cries out of the depths, and captivating for a renewed surrender to God. It is not surprising that many people find that the Psalms resonate with their emotions and experiences and adopt them as their own prayers.
To experience the life-transforming power of the Psalms, we are called to sing and pray them as did the generations of believers who have used the Psalms to pour out their praises, petitions, confessions, laments, and thanksgiving to the sovereign God of grace and justice.
Like the rest of the Scriptures, the Psalms were written in their distinctive historical, theological, and literary contexts. The task of the study of the Psalms is to bring the particular world of the Psalms closer to the modern audience. We must note that while the Psalms are prayers of God's people and even prayers that Jesus prayed as the incarnated Lord, the Psalms are also prayers about Jesus. They are God's revelation to humanity. Another task of the study of the Psalms is, thus to learn from the Psalms about all that God did, does, and will do for the world in and through Jesus Christ.
Although the Psalms are a collection of 150 poems, the collection may not be as random as it appears. The Psalms bear witness to a spiritual journey that is common to many of God's children. The journey begins with a faith that is firmly established and secured by God's sovereign rule, and where good gets rewarded and evil punished. As we progress through our study, we will see what happens when the well-ordered world of faith is challenged and threatened by evil.
Our desire and prayer are that the Psalms strengthen us on our life journey, and through them we get to meet God daily, heart to heart, until the day when we see Jesus Christ face to face.