The psalms challenge and sustain us in a number of ways, and in times of new challenges to the very fabric of the church, to its faith, and its values, we need to re-examine these ancient prayers and songs. This book explores the place and function of the psalms in Christian prayer, preaching, and worship. Examining the dual nature of the psalms as both words to God and word from God, the author brings together the historical experience of the church, biblical studies and theological reflection to focus on the application of the psalms in contemporary Christian life. A number of individual psalms are explored in terms of what they have to say about prayer or what theological issues they raise for contemporary life. This book encourages a reclamation of the psalms in the private and public prayers of the church and in the preaching of the word.
'This is a thoughtful and very worthwhile book, written by an OT scholar […] who is clearly concerned to do justice both to the Psalms as OT texts and as resources for the practice of the church today… This is a resource and analysis to which I shall return often, and would recommend especially in the context of teaching (and using) the Psalms in a Christian setting. It deserves to be widely read.' Heythrop Journal
Contents: Preface. Part I Introduction: The dual role of the psalms in the church. Part II The Psalms as Words to God: The psalms as prayers; The world of prayer in the psalms; What individual psalms say about prayer; Invited to pray. Part III The Psalms as Word from God: The psalms in preaching and liturgy; Preaching from individual psalms. Appendix; Select bibliography; Indexes.