In case you missed the first installment of this series, you can check out part 1 here: How I Pray through the Psalms, Part 1
As I suggested yesterday, the best place to begin praying through the Psalms is by reading through them first. It seems obvious, I know, but it is the most important factor in this process. Allowing God’s Word to saturate your mind and heart first will open up new avenues for your prayer life, trust me!
So, where should you begin reading in the Psalms? Easy. Start with Psalm 1.
Actually, it’s a little more than Psalm 1. Let me explain how I read through the Psalms.
I read all 150 Psalms each month. Yes, you read that correctly. It really isn’t that difficult. Say an average month has 30 days. There are 150 Psalms, so that means I read 5 Psalms a day for 30 days and finish the entire book by the end of the month. Which 5 Psalms do I choose to read each day? Again, easy. I look at the day of the month and the first Psalm I read will coordinate with the day of the month (I’ll show you an example of how this works in a moment). Then, I flip choose 4 more that are 30 Psalms apart in number. Repeat that process for 30 days and you end up having read all the Psalms!*
Here is an example of how this process would work.
I look at my calendar and note that today is March 1st. That means that I should have finished reading through all 150 Psalms yesterday and am starting from the beginning today (February only had 28 days this year, so I had to do some adjusting).
I open to the Psalms and I begin reading Psalm 1. Then, I flip 30 Psalms ahead and read Psalm 31. Next, I flip to Psalm 61. Next, Psalm 91. And finally, Psalm 121. I repeat this over and over each day of the month until I complete the Psalms. It’s an easy to remember formula. It’s not time-consuming or too complicated.
A helpful tip I’ll give you for reading through the Psalms in order to pray through them: Don’t treat this as a Bible Study. I mean, if you want to you can, but if you turn it into an intricate, inductive Bible Study you will need to carve out a lengthy period of time in your schedule. I suggest that if you want this to be a Bible Study in order to get a better grasp of the Psalms, then you do that at a different time or before you plan on using the Psalms in your prayer time. Just a suggestion!
All I am suggesting is that if you plan to read 5 Psalms a day and pray through each, then you don’t need to get bogged down with the details of the text. You might stumble upon a theological term you wish to understand better, but save it for later. Make your prayer time a prayer time!
In a future post, I’ll walk you through how I pray through a particular Psalm. But, before I wrap this post up let me give you another piece of advice.
Yesterday I advised you to read through the Psalms first. Today, my advice is that if you wish to pray through the Psalms, pray a line or two of the Psalm instead of multiple verses at once. I’ll show you what I mean next time!
*Based on Donald Whitney’s process in his book “Praying the Bible”. Although it has been used before he started using it, so the creator of the plan is not really known. I happened to start using this reading/prayer plan well before reading or hearing of Whitney’s book.