The Psalms are the prayer book of Jesus. They are alive with wisdom and beauty, always painting a picture of the character of Israel’s God. Each and every “Selah” (meaning silence or pause) gives space for contemplation or praise.
These songs were most certainly part of Jesus’ childhood. He heard them sung in the synagogues. He heard them in the hustle and bustle of His family’s annual trip to the Temple in Jerusalem. Jesus knew the Psalms. However, the Psalms knew Him as well. Jesus is the pray-er of the Psalms.
We (and I hope I can bunch you in with me) can have a hard time reading the Psalms. This is probably because they weren’t originally meant to be read. They were meant to be sung— together. They were built to sink deep into our bones and become a part of us. Try it sometime.
Psalm 66 is very special. It was sung during the Passover to remind Israel of their journey out of Egypt. Read it again in that light. Do you hear it? Do you see it? A deliverance has taken place. David recalls the beginning of the Exodus and how God delivered His people from bondage.
But here is the really cool thing: every Easter, millions of Christians all around the world begin their Easter service with this Psalm. They say it, sing it, chant it, and proclaim it. God has delivered us from bondage through Christ. Read it now in that light. The work of God through Christ is woven all the way through. God has moved towards us (v. 19).
As we near Advent and Christmas, we remember the God who delivers His people from bondage. He delivered the world from the clutches of the enemy by way of the cross, resurrection, and ascension. It is finished, as Jesus said (John 19:30).
What does this mean for us? This means God will deliver you. He will hear your prayer. If you are like me and prayer doesn’t come easily, I have a great recommendation. Pray the prayers of Jesus. Allow the words of this Psalm, and the others, to sink deep into your bones. As you pray the Psalms, you will find yourself praying the words our Lord Himself prayed. He knew them and He is in them. He will listen. His faithful love will be turned toward you. Selah.
written by Father Aaron Wright