Meditate With the Psalms

Learn the Psalms of David

Psalms (link to the fantastic site) are beloved of Jews and Christians. They express almost every mood a human being can feel – defeat, oppression, gratitude, revenge, protection, restfulness, delight, and so on. One reason it is useful for meditators to memorize the Psalms, one line at a time, is that in the course of a day or month or year, you will encounter in yourself quite a few of the human emotions. And then when you are meditating, you will feel these emotions intensely as you go through the process of forgiving yourself and everyone else and God and History and the Universe for existing. The Psalms help with accepting the intensity of it all.

But wait, you may think, I thought meditation was about calmness! No, it's not. Meditation is a way of perceiving life, and calmness often happens as a side effect. And the calmer you get, the more intense your own emotions seem by contrast. If you are walking down the street in a busy city, it may seem natural to get angry at anyone who gets in your way. Later, if you ever think about it again, you may just feel mildly irritated or fatigued. But if you become totally relaxed in meditation, you may feel shocked to realize how violent you felt and perhaps how uncalled-for that violence was. Meditation calls you to repent and forgive yourself and everyone else, every day..

So memorize them, already. Start with one you love or are attracted to, any of them, in any language. Select one line that resonates within your heart for some reason, and feel your way into it. Spend a few weeks or a month memorizing the Psalm – "Learning it by heart," and then when you are ready, move on to the next.

From The
Psalms Of David: "The Psalms Of David are the songs he composed to worship and praise his God. They express the deepest feelings of his heart —his love and joy in the Lord, his sorrow and pain in realizing his human feelings, his anguish when confronting the treachery of his son Absolom. Above all, the Psalms Of David are an eternal record of his uncompromising faith in God, an example to all of us to believe in the triumph of good over evil. David wrote 73 of the 150 psalms; the others were written by his son Solomon, Asaph, the sons of Korah and many others. They are songs which give us strength and comfort, songs which renew and confirm our faith. Sing them in your heart, and rest in the shadow of the Almighty."

The emphasis in the above paragraph is mine – I was just pointing out the way that there is a huge range of human feelings, leading one to rest in the Lord. The simplest definition of meditation, simpler than even Listening to God, is "resting in God."

I know it may sound strange coming from a meditation teacher, to hear me say, "Memorize the Psalms," but I am just speaking practically here. I am very practical. The Psalms will help you much more than reading many books on meditation. It is not very difficult to memorize something, to learn it by heart. Just write it on a piece of paper and learn one or two lines every day.


Notice how intense the very names of the Psalms are. The writers were in extremis, in gratitude, in all kinds of situations. When you learn them, you realize that your own situations at work, with your kids, with your friends, with the IRS, on the freeways, are just as bad as what David faced, or maybe not as bad. But in any case, you can accept your struggle, your story as it shows up in your meditation.




1 The Righteous and the Ungodly
2 The Reign of the LORD's Anointed
3 A Morning Prayer of Trust in God
4 An Evening Prayer of Trust in God
5 A Prayer for Protection
6 A Prayer for Mercy in Time of Trouble
7 A Prayer for Vindication
8 God's Glory and Man's Honor
9 Thanksgiving for God's Justice
10 A Prayer for the Overthrow of the Wicked
11 The Refuge of the Upright
12 A Prayer for Help against the Wicked
13 A Prayer for Help in Trouble
14 The Folly and Wickedness of Men
15 The Inhabitants of God's Holy Hill
16 A Goodly Heritage
17 A Prayer for Protection against Oppressors
18 Thanksgiving for Deliverance
19 The Works and Word of God
20 A Prayer for Victory
21 Praise for Deliverance from the Enemy
22 A Cry of Anguish and Song of Praise
23 The LORD Is My Shepherd
24 The King of Glory
25 A Prayer for Guidance, Pardon and Protection
26 A Protestation of Integrity
27 The LORD Is My Light and My Salvation
28 A Prayer for Help and Praise for Its Answer
29 The Voice of the LORD in the Storm
30 Thanksgiving for Deliverance from Death
31 A Profession of Trust
32 The Blessedness of Forgiveness
33 Praise to the Creator and Preserver
34 Praise for Deliverance from Troubles
35 A Prayer for Rescue from Enemies
36 The Steadfast Love of God
37 The Insecurity of the Wicked
38 The Prayer of a Suffering Penitent
39 Hope in the LORD
40 Praise for Deliverance
41 A Prayer for Healing
42 Thirsting for God
43 A Prayer for Vindication and Deliverance
44 Former Deliverances and Present Troubles
45 A Song for the King's Marriage
46 God Is Our Refuge and Strength
47 God Is the King of All the Earth
48 The Beauty and Glory of Zion
49 The Folly of Trusting in Riches
50 God Is the Judge
51 A Prayer for Cleansing
52 The Futility of Boastful Wickedness
53 The Folly and Wickedness of Men
54 A Prayer for Protection from Enemies
55 A Prayer for the Destruction of the Deceitful
56 A Prayer of Trust
57 A Prayer for Rescue from Persecutors
58 A Prayer for the Punishment of the Wicked
59 A Prayer for Deliverance from Enemies
60 A Prayer for Help against the Foe
61 Confidence in God's Protection
62 God the Only Refuge
63 God Satisfies the Thirsting Soul
64 A Prayer for Protection from Hidden Enemies
65 Praise for God's Bounty in Nature
66 Praise for God's Mighty Deeds
67 The Nations Exhorted to Praise God
68 The God of Sinai and of the Sanctuary
69 A Cry of Distress
70 A Prayer for Deliverance
71 The Prayer of an Old Man
72 The Reign of the Righteous King
73 The Fate of the Wicked
74 An Appeal to God against the Enemy
75 God Abases the Wicked and Exalts the Righteous
76 The God of Victory and Judgment
77 Comfort from Recalling God's Mighty Deeds
78 God's Faithfulness to His Unfaithful People
79 A Lament over the Destruction of Jerusalem
80 A Prayer for Restoration
81 God's Goodness and Israel's Waywardness
82 A Rebuke of Unjust Judgments
83 A Prayer for the Destruction of Israel's Enemies
84 Longing for God's House
85 A Prayer for God's Mercy on Israel
86 A Prayer for God's Continued Mercy
87 The Privileges of Dwelling in Zion
88 A Prayer for Deliverance from Death
89 God's Covenant with David
90 God's Eternity and Man's Transitoriness
91 Abiding in the Shadow of the Almighty
92 Praise for the LORD's Goodness
93 The Majesty of the LORD
94 A Prayer for Vengeance
95 A Song of Praise and Worship
96 A Song of Praise
97 The LORD's Dominion and Power
98 Praise for God's Righteousness
99 The LORD's Faithfulness to Israel
100 An Exhortation to Thanksgiving
101 A Pledge to Live Righteously
102 A Cry in Distress
103 Praise for the LORD's Benefits
104 The LORD's Care for His Creation
105 The LORD's Wonders in Behalf of Israel
106 The Rebelliousness of Israel
107 The LORD Delivers from Trouble
108 A Prayer for Help against the Foe
109 A Cry for Vengeance
110 The LORD Gives Dominion to the King
111 The LORD's Care for His People
112 The Prosperity of Him Who Fears the LORD
113 Praise for Exalting the Humble
114 The Wonders of the Exodus
115 God and the Idols
116 Thanksgiving for Deliverance from Death
117 Praise for the LORD's Merciful Kindness
118 Thanksgiving for the LORD's Salvation
119 The Excellencies of God's Law
120 A Prayer for Deliverance from Deceitfulness
121 The LORD Is Thy Keeper
122 A Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem
123 A Prayer for Mercy
124 Praise for Deliverance from Enemies
125 The LORD Is Round about His People
126 Thanksgiving for Restoration
127 Prosperity Comes from the LORD
128 The Blessedness of Him Who Fears the LORD
129 A Prayer for the Overthrow of Zion's Enemies
130 Hope in the LORD's Redemption
131 Childlike Repose in the LORD
132 A Prayer for Blessing on the Sanctuary
133 The Blessings of Brotherly Unity
134 Exhortation to the Night-watchers
135 The Greatness of the LORD and the Vanity of Idols
136 Praise for the LORD's Everlasting Mercy
137 The Mourning of the Exiles in Babylon
138 Thanksgiving for the LORD's Favor
139 God's Omnipresence and Omniscience
140 A Prayer for Protection against Persecutors
141 A Prayer for Preservation from Evil
142 A Prayer for Help in Trouble
143 A Prayer for Deliverance and Guidance
144 A Prayer for Rescue and Prosperity
145 Praise for the LORD's Goodness and Power
146 Praise for the LORD's Righteous Acts
147 Praise for the LORD's Favor to Jerusalem
148 All Creation Exhorted to Praise the LORD
149 Israel Exhorted to Praise the LORD
150 A Call to Praise God with Musical Instruments

the above is found
here - The Psalms of David at Biblegateway.

Psalm 91

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. [a]

2 I will say [b] of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."

3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.

4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,

6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.

7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.

8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.

9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge-

10 then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.

11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;

12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation."