Praying Our Father with Psalms

pray with psalmsPraying our Father with Psalms

Fr. Ignasi Ricart cmf

We pray the Lord’s prayer many times a day. It is the prayer all Christians use to call out to God in the words of Jesus with a filial heart. Praying and living this prayer builds communion with God and among human beings.

            It is the only prayer Jesus taught his disciples. Jesus own prayer habits come from his Jewish tradition where psalms were extensively used at different hours of the day. Jesus used Psalms to relate to His Father and to express himself even in his agonizing moments as on the cross (Ps 22.1: “Why God, why God, why have you forsaken me?”).

            A closer look at the Lord’s prayer reveals that it is the summit of the longings and aspirations expressed in the Psalms. We can pray the Lord’s prayer using the Psalms in order to capture its deeper meaning by returning to the Old Testament sources which Jesus took into his heart while formulating this prayer. The following is a method used in different group meetings very effectively.

Method of praying the Lord’s prayer using Psalms

The simple structure of the Lord’s prayer consists of an invocation and 7 petitions. When we pray the invocation and the petitions in the Lord’s prayer, we deepen it by reciting the corresponding psalms prayerfully.

A list of the psalms are given below with reference to each part of the Lord’s prayer. Make this list available to each member of the group and let them compose the Lord’s prayer with one citation from each section.

During the Lord’s prayer, this composition is used in different ways according to the context to deepen the experience of it. For example, one member may read out the whole prayer, or different members pray the different parts of the prayer. If there is time, more than one petition may be used for the same part.

practical examples:

The following are two models of the Lord’s prayer composed with the psalms by a prayer group.

Model 1.

Invocation: Our Father, who art in heaven,

Thou are my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation (89.26)

 Petition 1: hallowed be thy name;

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is thy name in all the earth (8.10)

Petition 2: Thy kingdom come;

Righteousness and Justice are the foundation of thy throne, steadfast love and faithfulness go before thee (89.14)

Petition 3: Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Make me know thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths (25.4) 

Petition 4: Give us this day our daily bread;

He who gives food to all flesh, for his steadfast love endures for ever (136.25)

Petition 5: and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! (51.2)

Petition 6: and lead us not into temptation,

When I thought, “my foot slips”, thy steadfast love, O Lord, held me up (94.18)

Petition 7: but deliver us from evil.

Deliver me from my enemies, I have fled to thee for refuge (143.9) 

Model 2.

Invocation: O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is thy name all the earth. Thou whose glory above the heavens is chanted by the mouth of babes and infants.. (8.1)

1st petition: Not to us O Lord, not to us, but to thy name give glory for the sake of thy steadfast love and faithfulness (115.1)

2nd petition: The Lord has established his throne in the heavens and his kingdom rules over all. (103.19)

3rd petition: I delight to do thy will O my God; thy law is within my heart (40.8)

4th petition: Who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry (146.7)

5th petition: I will sing to the Lord because he has dealt bountifully with me (13.6)

6th Petition: He brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because he delighted in me (18.19)

7th Petition: For, in death there is no remembrance of you. In Sheol who can give you praise (6.5)  

THE LORD’S PRAYER ACCORDING TO THE PSALMS

Invocation: Our Father, who art in heaven,

 27,10; 2,4.7; 103,8.11.13; 89,27; 34,12; 145,9; 68,6; 56,4.12; 145,18; 10,14b; 8,1; 11,4; 123,1; 73,25; 131,2; 139,8; 68,20

 Petition 1: hallowed be thy name;

116,13; 23,3; 8,2.10; 119,55; 115,1; 103,1; 34,4; 25,11; 79,9; 106,8; 109,21; 22,23; 76,2; 111,9; 135,13; 148,13; 99,3; 86,9.12; 113,1-3; 96,2.8; 72,19; 138,2; 145,1.2.21; 29,2; 74,10.21; 105,3; 52,11; 18,50; 63,5; 44,9; 61,9; 66,2

Petition 2: Thy kingdom come;

45,2.7; 146,10; 5,3; 22,29; 93,1; 96,10; 68,33.35; 145,11-13; 103,19; 24,7-10; 99,1.4; 93,1; 97,1; 76,12; 29,10; 110,2; 47,3.8.9.10; 149,2; 2,8; 67,5; 10,16; 146,10; 44,5; 98,6; 89,15; 20,10

Petition 3: Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

40,8.9; 143,10; 89,12; 33,11; 119,16.18; 119,97; 103,20.21; 25,4; 119,1.2.4.9.14.35; 80.88.126.138.145.152; 135,6; 86,11; 145,19; 19,9.12; 147,15; 27,11; 148,5; 139,24; 118,22-23; 143,8b.10

Petition 4: Give us this day our daily bread;

72,16; 136,25; 85,13; 128,2.3; 23,1; 34,11; 78,20.23.24.25; 144,13.14; 147,8.9.14; 146,7; 104,14.15; 67,7; 107,9; 81,11.17; 23,5; 36,8.9; 34,11; 145,15.16; 65,5.10-14; 127,2; 37,19.25; 132,15; 105,40; 41,10

Petition 5: and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us;

25,7.11.16.18; 35,12-13; 109,4-5; 13,6; 19,13; 86,15-17; 116,5; 103,3.4.8.9.10.11.12; 65,4; 51,3.4.5.6.7.11.19; 79,8.9; 38,19; 90,8; 32,1-2.5; 41,5; 130,3-4; 85,3; 78,38; 69,17; 111,4; 145,8; 4,2; 6,3; 9,14

Petition 6: and lead us not into temptation,

27,1; 141,4; 37,23-24; 1,6; 121,3; 91,12; 94,18; 146,8; 18,19.37; 79,9; 119,36; 55,23; 51,13; 17,5; 19,2.14; 26,1.12; 94,18; 16,8; 1,6; 25,15; 66,9; 71,20; 23,4; 20,9; 121,3; 91,12; 39,2; 73,2; 30,7-9; 31,8.9; 37,23-24; 139,24; 66,10-11; 145,14; 119,5.8.10.36.104.133.165

Petition 7: but deliver us from evil.

39,9; 37,39.40; 6,5; 25,20.22; 143,9; 34,7.19.20; 30,2.10; 3,9; 54,6; 26,1; 18,2.7.17.18.19.20.47.49; 140,2; 56,9.14; 37,40; 16,11; 143,7.9.11; 17,1; 72,13.14; 118,13; 116,18; 145,18.19; 17,7-8; 70,6; 71,2-3; 144,2; 141,1.9; 69,2-3.15.17; 91,3; 31,4-5.16; 22,12.25; 107,13-14; 49,16; 50,15; 40,14; 6,5; 10,12; 146,7-9; 70,6; 144,2; 33,18-19; 32,7; 69,2-3.15-16.36-37; 136,23-24; 147,2-3; 16,10; 68,20.21 

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