Wednesday, November 11, 2020

The Psalms Dare Us to Bring Our Whole Selves Before God

By Tish Harrison Warren
Image: Illustration by Sarah Gordon / Image: Untitled, Joachim Ferdinand Richardt / Courtesy of the Bowers Museum, Santa Ana, CA

A river cuts through my parents’ land. It is the backdrop of countless happy memories. Every time I travel home, I still walk to the water’s edge, visiting it like a dear, old friend. But at times, my beloved river has become dangerous and destructive. Our shifting emotional currents of joy, sadness, anger, and longing are like that river. So how can we remain alive to our internal life without being washed downstream by whatever we feel from moment to moment? The Scriptures give us a practice: We pray the Psalms. Our most ancient Christian brothers and sisters practiced prayer primarily as the daily memorization and recitation of the Psalms. Repeatedly praying the Psalms allows us to come before God with emotional honesty, authenticity, and transparency. [More