Use of the Psalms

I saw on another thread that the Psalms are spiritual nuclear weapons. My question is: How do you use the Psalms?

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The most obvious way I can think of is by praying all or part of the Liturgy of the Hours each day, which is primarily based on the Psalms. Now after praying the Hours for a few years, whenever I hear one of the Responsorial Psalms at Mass I think to myself, “Hey, I know that Psalm! :grinning:

I’ve also committed a few of the Psalms to memory, like Psalm 51 (Have mercy on me, God) and I pray them often that way.

I’m not sure I like the nuclear weapon analogy :angry:, but if it means a weapon against sin, I’m okay with that :slightly_smiling_face:. I prefer to think of the Psalms as a means of healing, like a powerful prescription.

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2589 Certain constant characteristics appear throughout the Psalms: simplicity and spontaneity of prayer; the desire for God himself through and with all that is good in his creation; the distraught situation of the believer who, in his preferential love for the Lord, is exposed to a host of enemies and temptations, but who waits upon what the faithful God will do, in the certitude of his love and in submission to his will. The prayer of the psalms is always sustained by praise; that is why the title of this collection as handed down to us is so fitting: “The Praises.” Collected for the assembly’s worship, the Psalter both sounds the call to prayer and sings the response to that call: Hallelu-Yah! (“Alleluia”), “Praise the Lord!”

What is more pleasing than a psalm? David expresses it well: “Praise the Lord, for a psalm is good: let there be praise of our God with gladness and grace!” Yes, a psalm is a blessing on the lips of the people, praise of God, the assembly’s homage, a general acclamation, a word that speaks for all, the voice of the Church, a confession of faith in song.40

2597 Prayed and fulfilled in Christ, the Psalms are an essential and permanent element of the prayer of the Church. They are suitable for men of every condition and time.


I think that metaphor is stretching it. Could we say that a song about love is a nuclear weapon against hate? Maybe, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

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Personally, I love Psalms 23, 46 and 144.


I like to read my favorites in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

My favorite as a teen was Psalm 20–‘Prayer for the King in Time of War.’ The last line is ‘some rely on chariots, others on horses, but we on the name of the Lord our God. They collapse and fall but we stay strong and firm.’ It’s meaning has grown for me greatly.

I like that many of the Psalms were written by King David for Israel against human enemies, but we can take them now as prayers against our spiritual enemies.

My favorites now, especially for reading in adoration, are 40, 42-43 (As a deer yearns for running streams, so I long for you my God), and 46 (be still and know that I am God).


Our priest said the Psalms are like God praying through you, which I thought was a lovely way of putting it.

I also did a retreat on the psalms once and they are very adaptable some being ‘taken down into the pit’ where they are quite dark as the people/person struggle with the temptations and turmoil’s of life but looks to the light of God for assistance. And then they climb out of the pit praising God for his assistance and glorifying God. They can really provide comfort and advice for us in our life and help us also to link the OT and NT together and so learn about the scriptures. I’ve also been advised to use them for fighting temptations, intrusive thoughts and distractions before as they are so melodic they can be easy to pick up and read or if you have them committed to memory, recite. You can also sing them even if you aren’t an accomplished singer as many have been set into hymns. My favourite is 91 and 16

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I’ll have to remember what you said, Bluebright. I struggle a lot with temptations and mortal sins; so I’ll try praying the Psalms when they hit me. Thanks, Bluebright!


Respectfully opinion only :thinking: on.
How do you use the Psalms?

Within our Heavenly Father Spoken Word, through others whom have put them into poetry to explain further his… Will and Desires and what others have learned or experienced themselves in knowing our Heavenly Father’s Will and Desires .

.Like Psalm 119 the longest Psalm in the whole book of Psalms, right? Psalm 119 has …176 Verses on the importance of His Laws and how sweet and beautiful they are…just ones opinion is all.

Which gives further understanding of… His Spoke Word…calling and identifying and in calling them…the Lawlessones, throughout the whole bible till that last pages of the Bible…maybe?

Asking also if the Psalms are …sung…like a song or made into a play would we get more out of the Psalms, such as a deeper understanding also?
Peace :heartpulse:

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I use the Psalms like prayers to specific petitions; with Psalm 23 as my default go to. I’m still working out which Psalms for which petitions.


Another thing I heard in a lecture yesterday was that we humans cannot avoid mortal sin without grace… so don’t forget to ask God for the grace to avoid whichever mortal sin/s it is and in fact to remember that. It’s pretty humbling to remember that God keeps us out of mortal sin by his mercy and love alone. I personally find that the more graces I ask for the more I get which is also humbling.


Thanks, Bluebright. I’ll do that.,

The Psalms is the oldest book in the Bible composed from an oral tradition written down some 1100-1000 years before Christ. It is the prayer book of the Hebrew people.

My favourites are # 4, 8, 23, 51, 104, 139, 150. For about 1.5 years before being received into the Catholic Church I read # 139 every Sunday night before going to bed.

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