How to Write Your Psalm of Praise
Greetings and Peace!
“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!”
This month, First Church has been exploring Psalm 150. The first week we discussed how this Psalm reminds us that life itself is a counterpoint of melody that transforms musical themes into that which is harmonious. Further, in response to the discordant sounds of all the world’s “clashings,” the affirmation of life arises as a disruptive song of hope. It is a standing invitation to all people who have breath to make of our lives a living embodiment of that eternal song of praise that extends throughout all creation.
“How can I keep from singing?”
Indeed, what makes you come alive--to the song which is your life? How do you make of your life, a song of praise?
The task that was given last Sunday was to write a personal psalm. I offered some guiding questions in last Sunday’s meditation including: What gifts are longing to express itself more fully through you? What makes you feel most aligned to your God-given purpose? What makes you feel as if you have broken free from your cage of fear to fly as if your spirit is free? (Like an uncaged bird that sings) What brings you color? What makes your life pop? What brings you joy? What does it look like to live “alive” to your life as a song of praise?
The structure of the psalm/poem is simple. The first line is, “My life is a song of praise. I praise God by…”
This introduction is followed by lines that address the following:
What (by doing what?) …
Who (with or for) …
Complete the psalm by saying, “With all my breath, I praise the Lord!”
Here is an example:
“My life is a song of praise. I praise God by serving those who are marginalized and unhoused. I praise God at the shelters, in the streets near my house, and at the sanctuary at J and 21st street. I praise God with my church community who knows and loves me and give me the confidence to love those who I have yet to meet. I praise God with my life at all times even when it is hard. I praise God sincerely with all of my heart, mind, body, and soul. With all of my breath, I praise the Lord!”
Try to write one or more for yourself and bring it with you on Sunday. Hopefully, we will have some time to share our psalms with each other on Sunday. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me: email@example.com. Remember, there is no wrong way to do this. Be prayerful, then, have fun!
Pastor Mahsea Evans