Praying the Psalms

Posts tagged “prayer

Tehillim/Psalms 5.4

Hear my voice, O Lord, at daybreak;

at daybreak I plead before You and wait.

Tehillim/Psalms 5.4


Tehillim/Psalms 71.1-3

I seek refuge in You, O Lord; may I never be disappointed.

As You are beneficent, save me and rescue me; incline Your ear to me, and deliver me.

Be a sheltering rock to me to which I may always repair;

decree my deliverance, for You are my rock and my fortress.

Tehillim/Psalms 71.1-3

Tehillim/Psalms 25.20-22


Protect me and save me;

let me not be disappointed,

for I have sought refuge in You.

May integrity and uprightness watch over me,

for I look to You.

O G-d, redeem Israel from all its distress.

Tehillim/Psalms 25.20-22

Tehillim/Psalms 4.2


Answer me when I call,

O G’d, my vindicator!

You freed me from distress;

have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

Tehillim/Psalms 4.2

Praying the Psalms,or Davening Tehillim

The Psalms, or Tehillim as we say in Hebrew, have been a source of light and inspiration for people of many faiths for millennium.  Written during biblical times, they are hymns and prayers sung to Hashem expressing our joys, our sorrows, our fears, our longings, our praises, our thanks to the Creator of all that is.  These songs turn us toward and bind us to the One Omnipotent.  In praying the Psalms, we ourselves are elevated to new spiritual heights as our relationship with our Maker is strengthened.   In the Psalms, we find solace in times of sorrow, and are led to repentance in times of wrongdoing.  Psalms of supplication in times of need, and assurance of hope in times of doubt sustain us when confronted with the vicissitudes of life.

While he did not write all the Psalms, the poet and greatest king of Israel, David haMelech/the King, wrote the vast majority of the songs which have inspired, encouraged and guided multitudes to higher levels of spirituality.  Personally, my experience in davening/praying Tehillim has served to strengthen my emunah/faith .  When we make praying and singing the Psalms a part of our daily (sometimes hourly) ritual, we begin to move beyond merely offering up a “wish list” of wants, and begin to offer thanks on numerous levels as we rejoice at a deepening relationship with G-d.  It recently occurred to me that the experience of prayer is much like a parent longing to hear from her child.  I relish every contact, letter, email, phone call, visit from my children.  When I don’t hear from them, my heart is saddened.  I love them totally and unconditionally.  Prayer is my contact, letter, email, phone call, visit with my eternal Parent.  When I find myself too busy to spend time with Hashem, I bring a sense of sadness to our relationship.  That insight, that analogy, has made all the difference in the world to me as I eagerly seek to communicate with Hashem on a daily basis.  Requests are mingled in with thanks, and gratitude for the privilege of living.  It is a time for seeking guidance on what path to follow, as well as reviewing the events of my days.  I offer up prayers for the sick, the lonely, the fearful.  When at a loss for words, Tehillim guides me.  (ie, for recovery from illness, Psalm 30; to express gratitude, too many to count; for help in times of trouble, Psalm 20; for guidance, Psalm 139; to praise unabashedly, Psalm 150) 

In the coming days, I hope to go through the Psalms and write about how they speak to me.  I am no rabbi, nor am I a biblical scholar.  I am merely a seeker as many of you, and wish to share insights that I glean from davening Tehillim.  In so doing, I am singing the Psalms and hope you will join with me.  Feel free to leave your comments, gentle critiques, and questions.  If something I write strikes you as odd or incorrect, check with your rabbi or teacher (then feel free to get back with me!) 

Finally, thank you for reading this blog.  May you be blessed; may you daven tehillim with kavannah/focus, direction and intent (I don‘t know how to translate that to one word in English), and emunah/faith; may your tefilla/prayers be answered for tov/good.

*see Glossary for all hebrew words

A Spiritual Journey

Once I began blogging, I found that I rather enjoyed it!  Up until now, however, my blogs have been more reflective on personal experiences and memories of my past adventures and growing up.  My original site, has been written with my children in mind; a memoir of sorts for them.  The stories that have passed down to me from my grandparents have been awe inspiring, and given me a sense of my own history and worth.  I intend to write much more along that line…but on my original blog.

In my former life, before becoming  Jewish, I was a minister by profession.  But then I converted to Judaism, and my life has been very different since then.  This was a very good thing for me, the right thing to do.   My spiritual journey has humbled and amazed me, yet I never lost the desire to share spiritual nuggets (learned from experience and from wonderful teachers along the way) and offer encouragement to those I come in contact with.  This page is intended for that purpose.  Chana is my Hebrew name.  Chana, the mother of Shmuel (Samuel) HaMelech (the king), taught us how to pray.  Today, our jewish prayers are still modeled after the prayer she prayed when in the temple praying for a child.  After the birth of Shmuel, she sang for joy for prayer answered, thus the name of this blog.  I am learning to pray and sing the Psalms/Tehillim.  Our journey here is a song, oftentimes joyful, but also mournful in seasons of sorrow or distress.  Always, though, our prayers and songs are the ways in which we communicate with HaShem thus strengthening that spiritual bond.  I plan to reflect on those songs: Tehillim/Psalms, Emunah/Faith, Weekly Parsha/weekly Torah reading.  I may add more categories as I go along, but this is a start.  Without promise, I plan to write once a week on this site.  I hope that you feel free to add your insights and reflections in your comments. 

May we all merit continued growth in our spiritual journeys.