The Lord's Song in a Foreign Land: The Psalms As Prayer

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9780814620861: The Lord's Song in a Foreign Land: The Psalms As Prayer
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How can contemporary Christians use poems written half a millennium before Christ as the basis of their prayer? Wahl offers Christians a method for applying the psalms to their lives in a way that recognizes the cultural, intellectual, and moral gap between Israel and the Western world. The result is a meaningful, personal, and prayerful connection to the psalms.

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How can contemporary Christians use poems written half a millennium before Christ as the basis of their prayer? In The Lord's Song in a Foreign Land, Father Wahl focuses on fifty of the most widely used psalms for Morning and Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. Using the Grail translation for the Psalms, he provides a reflection for each day of a four-week cycle, examining how a particular psalm can serve as a reference for prayer. For the remaining psalms, he offers a prayer based on the biblical reading, comparing individuals' experience to that of Israel. The text of the psalm is included. The Lord's Song in a Foreign Land illustrates two characteristics of the psalms that make these ancient prayers suited to contemporary use: In biblical times the Jewish people prayed the psalms in a variety of circumstances (for example, as a prayer of thanksgiving for anyone that had been saved from mortal danger). Secondly, Christians and Jewish people have instinctively prayed the psalms as metaphors of their own experience from the beginning. Father Wahl stresses that the psalms, rich in language, were originally intended for people to use on reoccurring occasions (in a psalm for a recovery from an illness, the prayer applied to whatever the illness). Similarly, a prayer for a blessing on a reigning king was later used to express the desire for a messiah. He shows that even by the time the psalms were collected, such prayers had been used again?in new but comparable situations not originally envisioned in their composition. The Lord's Song in a Foreign Land offers contemporary Christians a method for applying the psalms to their lives in a way that recognizes the cultural, intellectual, and moral gap between Israel and the Western world. The result?a meaningful, personal and prayerful connection to the psalms composed in a foreign land.

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..".an extraordinary guide to understanding and praying the psalms..."

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Thomas Peter Wahl
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