I have been using the 40 Day period of Lent as a time to read through my Psalms reading plan for a couple years now. But I’ll admit that sometimes I’m better at it than others.
The first year I did it, I missed a couple days and then spent the remainder of the Lent season trying to play catch up, reading as quickly as I could just to say I completed it. I even found that you could hear the verses read aloud on the Youversion Bible app, so I would crank up the volume while making dinner or doing laundry, sometimes even while working online. That wouldn’t be a bad thing if I focused on listening to the actual verses more than the task in front of me, but I can’t say that I did. Feeling defeated and guilty even with my mental boxes checked off, I remember thinking, “Well, there’s always next year. I’m going to do things differently next Lent season.”
As I was looking through my blog, I came across my Lent Reading: 40 Days of Psalms post and began wondering how many months until next year’s Lent. At the time of writing this: 9 months. That’s a long time before diving into the Psalms again. And then it hit me, why wait?
40 Days of Psalms
It’s amazing how easy it is to relate to the authors of Psalms even though it was written 3,000+ years ago! I might not have a King trying to kill me or anything like that, but I have certainly faced different trials in my life. And there are times when I wonder why God is allowing me to go through hard times. But I’ve also been given mercy, forgiveness, and love that -if I’m being honest- don’t deserve.
Reading David’s cries have helped me to realize that God doesn’t want zombie believers who do things only because it’s what we think we’re supposed to do. I’ve learned that God wants our hearts.
He wants you to:
- share your joys and hurts with Him.
- acknowledge your pain and rely on Him for comfort.
- give your strength where you are weak.
It’s more than just religion; it’s a relationship.
I invite you to join me as a I read through the Psalms reading plan. It’s 150 chapters, many of which are short and one that is long, but very doable.
Melody of Praise
The word Psalm comes from the word Mizmowr which loosely means “a poem set to notes.” I’ve also seen the Book of Psalms described as a “melody of praise” or a “sacred song used in worship.”
If you’ve grown up in the church, you may even recognize many of the Bible verses as songs. Try to sing a verse or two as you read and see how much you can remember throughout the day that way. Or write some verses on an index card to stick on your mirror, fridge, or somewhere you can see it and make your own melody of praise.
While the Book of Psalms is a Book of Poetry, it fits chronologically in the Books of History. Many of these chapters and verses were written during specific moments of time seen in earlier books, like 1 or 2 Samuel.
Take Psalm 3, for instance. The chapter heading in most Bibles reads, “A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.” Read on and you’ll hear his heart and thoughts during this time. To know more about the actual events and context, you can read 2 Samuel 15-18.
You may remember David’s adultery with Bathsheeba. In 2 Samuel 12:13 David acknowledges his sin against the Lord to which the prophet Nathan shares God’s mercy to him. Psalm 103 is born from David’s grateful and joyful heart that God forgave him. The famous verses 11-12 in Psalm chapter 103 (and Casting Crowns song) is from this time that says:
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
David could have let the guilt of his sin of adultery overcome him to the point that he was no longer willing to do God’s work. He could have stayed in mourning or walked around being defined by his “Scarlet Letter,” but instead he chose to praise God for his forgiveness and love. It puts things into perspective for us today when we know the stories behind the Psalms.It puts things into perspective for us today when we know the stories behind the Psalms. Click To Tweet
This happens throughout the Psalms. You will grow as you read through the Psalms, but take it one step further by researching the context and situation to have a deeper knowledge of the scenarios in the Psalm.
Psalms Reading Plan
Let me know what you learn from this Psalms Reading Plan! I can’t wait to hear how God uses this time in the Psalms in your life!
And join the *NEW* Sincerely Anchored Facebook group to see when the next reading Challenge is!