Praying with the Psalms: Comfort and Encouragement
By Iuliana Mogosanu
March 9, 2023 - 12:35pm
REMINDER: Daylight Savings begins this Sunday, set clocks forward one hour.
During this season of Lent (February 22-April 8) we are immersing ourselves in the rich poetry of Psalms as a way to explore how it can deepen our spiritual lives and connection to God.
On the Third Sunday of Lent, we’ll hear the well-known Psalm 23 that talks about our personal relationship with God through the famous metaphor “The Lord is MY shepherd”.
We will ponder the meaning of this metaphor by asking ourselves:
How does the relationship between shepherd and sheep work?
To David, who was a shepherd before becoming king, this relationship was deeply personal because he guided, provided for and tenderly took care of his trusting sheep. Therefore, he used this intimate experience of shepherding to describe in metaphor his relationship with God.
How do you define your personal relationship with God?
What if you thought of God as your dog walker, your home care nurse, your midwife or … (insert here your own metaphor)?
How do you live this relationship in your daily life?
We will then think about moments in our lives when we needed a shepherd.
How did you know that you needed one?
How did you realize that you were being cared for by a shepherd?
How did you know that the shepherd was God?
What did God do for you as a shepherd?
Regardless if you are in despair and you need guidance or direction or if you are joyful, happy or successful, God is with you. You have a relationship with God. How do you cultivate it?
Come Sunday and we'll delve into these questions together.
The season of Lent (February 22-April 8 this year) is a time for us to deepen more intentionally into our spiritual life -- perhaps in new ways or refreshing some old ways. Typically, people think of giving up something for Lent. However, Lent can also mean taking on something. Basically, Lenten practice is about adopting patterns or practices that help us sink more deeply into our souls and draw closer in our relationship and understanding of God.
As always, we will provide opportunities for all of us to do that this year. We heartily encourage you to try some if not all of them by clicking here.
Praying with the Psalms. On Sundays, we will immerse ourselves in this big, rich book of poetry and the ways that faithful people throughout the centuries have used it as prayer. How may we re-enter this ancient collection in new ways and how may it enrich our collective and personal prayer lives?
Study Groups. We will have in-person and online study groups to help us deepen our own personal and collective practice of praying with the psalms. Meetings on Sundays, March 12, 19 and 26 at 12:30pm in the Parlor, and Tuesdays, March 14, 21 and 28 at 7pm on Zoom. Find the Zoom link in the weekly newsletter or contact email@example.com.
Prayer Partners. We encourage ALL of us to try or re-commit to having a prayer buddy in Lent -- someone you can check in with during the week, go over your concerns and joys and offer them in prayer. We provide guidelines to make this fun and helpful. If this is something that sounds welcome and soothing or sounds like a challenge, or anything in between, then we encourage you to try it out! Prayer partnering helps us strengthen as a spiritual community. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
Dinner Church. For the first time in THREE years, we gather again like the ancient church, around a table for a common meal of soup and salad, communion, song, prayer and conversation. This is a beautiful way to worship in a different setting and rhythm. Thursdays, March 9, 16, 23 and 30 from 6:00-6:45pm in the Parlor. Doors open at 5:45pm.
As our congregation goes more deeply into clarifying our purpose and mission in this time and place during Lent, deepening in our spiritual practices becomes even more important to ground us in God. We heartily encourage you to take part.
If you'd like to read or listen to previous sermons, or subscribe to our podcast, please click here.
If you'd like to watch previous worship services, please visit our YouTube page.
Image credit: Paramount Safaris