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/_.jpg" width=120 height=77 alt="" border=0 align=left hspace=5>Learning to Pray (Part 6):
by Lynn Anderson
In previous columns, weve looked at the blessings the collection of the Psalms in the Bible give us. As a quick reminder, here are the first four:
Eugene Peterson describes the experience this way:
I open the Psalms and find myself in the place of prayer, ready to pray. I look around and see thirty other men and women from thirty different places, reared in thirty different homes and in the past few hours have experienced thirty different combinations of emotions. Some come from brutalizing experiences, some from a birthday celebration; some are full of hate at what has been done to them, others brimming with joy over the incredible beauties of the day.
When the congregation is led in praying Psalm 56, the prayer seethes with experiences of brutality and hate. Hate is the most remote thing from my life right now, but within moments I am praying the experience of hate, in tune with others who may be experiencing it...I enter into common cause with persons who are desperately facing enemies.... (Eugene Peterson, Answering God, Harper and Rowe, San Francisco, 1989, p. 90).
Praying the Psalms together in the congregation conditions us to pray them much better when we are alone. They not only rescue us from repetition and move us out of our self-absorbed prayers, but they connect us with the feelings of others as well and empower us to give comfort to others.
Author: Lynn Anderson
Publication Date: October 10, 2001
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