Psalms - Texts, Message and Spiritual Meaning
The Psalms are among the most powerful and meaningful prayers among those who have faith and believe in the power of the Infinite . Contact with our inner God is through prayer . Therefore, it is not just people who believe in the Christian faith who pray the Psalms. All who seek inner peace can find guidance in the messages and meaning of the Psalms by asking God.
What Are the Psalms?
The Book of Psalms is part of the Christian Bible and brings together a set of 150 poetic texts organized by verses. Written for different situations, its main forms are lamentation , supplication , praise and gratitude . Some Psalms are intimate, revealing the author’s personal relationship with God; others provide guidelines and advice for life, others are compositions for specific liturgical events such as rituals and pilgrimages. The Book of Psalms comprises five distinct blocks by Jewish tradition (Ps 1-41; 42-72; 73-89; 90-106; 107-150).
Each Psalm expresses an intention , a message . Covering various themes of human spirituality, these prayers of praise are proclaimed with the intention of appealing to the protection and divine grace in moments of doubt, suffering or, simply, in an act of faith and to elevate the spirit to Infinite Power and Infinite Wisdom .
The texts of the Book of Psalms permeate the entire Bible, describing, among others, historical, geographical, cultural, symbolic, prophetic, spiritual aspects, in prose and poetry. The Psalms move, sensitize, awaken feelings, inspire and enchant. Their wisdom, symbolism and emotions still make sense today, and those who pray them can easily identify with the anxieties and joys of those who wrote them even if they do not know the depth of their meaning.
The Book of Psalms and the Psalm Books
Each of the Psalms spreads a message of help, hope, and ancient wisdom. These prayers allow us to draw lessons, reflections, ideas or messages of light that help to deal with the difficulties of everyday life or to celebrate life.
The Book of Psalms, or Book of Praises , is considered the heart of the Old Testament, consisting of the nineteenth and largest book in the Christian Bible. It consists of 150 chapters, or prophetic songs and poems, divided into 5 Psalm Books or Booklets:
- Book I - Psalms 1 to 41
- Book II - Psalms 42 to 72
- Book III - Psalms 73 to 89
- Book IV - Psalms 90 to 106
- Book V - Psalms 107 to 150
Below, find all the Psalms . Click on each one to read the prayer and discover its spiritual meaning . The message of each Psalm can suit different circumstances: the 3 is perfect for asking for financial prosperity, the 4 for thoughtfulness and foresight when you need to make an important decision. The Psalm 14 is ideal for calming the mind and heart in moments of panic and 45 to pray for conjugal peace.
Who Wrote the Psalms?
The Book of Psalms is composed of poems produced, probably, over a thousand years, from the time of Moses , in the 15th century BC, to the time of Ezra , in the 5th century BC. Although the exact date they were written is not known, it is known that they were composed over time and by various authors. Although the Psalms are known as the Psalms of David , they were written by several authors.
The earliest collection of Psalms, the oldest, is attributed to King David (Psalms 3–41), the ancestor of Jesus Christ and the most charismatic ruler of the nation of Israel. Another collection attributed to this author is constituted by Psalms 51 to 72, the date on which the exile began.
Psalms 42 to 49 are attributed to the sons of Korah , Levites who served in the temple and report the pilgrimage, the defeats. Most of them predate the destruction of Jerusalem. The King Solomon is the author of at least two Psalms.
Psalms 73 to 83 are attributed to the sons of Asaph , father of Joah, and a character mentioned in the Old Testament Bible, being prior to exile. Psalm 50, attributed to Asaf, joins the Davidic collection 3 to 41. Even so, the authorship of many Psalms remains unknown.
The Language of Psalms
The symbolic language of the Psalms is simple but not naive. Death and rebirth are one of the most recurrent themes in these prayers. Through symbolic images , the authors of the Psalms constructed a code of conduct that regulates the relationship between God and Man.
Through the glorification of God , man achieves the contemplation of his interior and his own emotions. One of the greatest fears of the psalmists was the turning away from the presence of God, or the hiding of the divine face. Therefore, the pleas in the poems are made with urgency and despair: “I stretch out my hands to you; like dry land, my soul thirsts for you.” ( 143.6 ).
The Psalms as a Prayer
The Psalter is seen as a collection of songs and hymns made to express the feelings of the Hebrew people’s soul towards their God. These prayer-poems are, above all, a reaction of praise and recognition by the believer to the effective presence of God who protects and saves his people.
The prayer has the power to make us enter into communion with God, the Divine Presence, the Superior Energy, Infinite Light, the Holy Spirit (whatever name you give that Presence) through the power of the mind and the power of faith . “Whatever you ask in faith, in prayer, you will obtain.” (Mt 21, 12-17). When the prayer is said in faith, the prayer will be answered.
Praying is seeking the truth , it is a manifestation of energy . The essence of all religious manifestations is prayer . Through it, we have a much greater understanding of the mental, spiritual and cosmic world. When we are afraid, worried about the future or live in uncertainty, we turn to the Creator, asking for help and guidance .
The Psalms and the History of Israel
Most of the collections predate the destruction of Jerusalem, forming the great set of Psalms 3 to 88, framed by two royal or monarchic Psalms, Psalms 2 and 89, and which form the “ Second Temple Prayer Book ”. There are also poems grouped by subject, such as Psalms 93 to 100, which are the Psalms of the Kingdom of Yahweh, and 103 to 107, the Psalms of Praise . These two series are grouped with three Davidic texts, 108 to 110, and joined to the large set 2 to 89, forming series 2 to 110, real poems that frame the larger series.
Series 111 to 118, known as the Psalms of the Torah , speak of the love of the law, the beauty, truth and sufficiency of God’s law. The Psalms of the Ascents , or Songs of the Steps , Ps 120 - 134, are used to encourage pilgrimages. Psalms 113 to 150 are prayers of exaltation to God as the grace of his love and mercy and for his saving works.
How to Sing these Prayers?
The Psalms are also sung by people who profess faiths other than Catholic. For some beliefs, they are like mantras that help to calm the mind, meditate, and restore balance with the transcendent.
Therefore, the Psalms can be sung in a rhythmic way , as if they were a song . Think positive. Fill your heart with love, pray for someone, for their health, well-being, happiness, success, love. Don’t give more power to negative thoughts. Replace them with positive thoughts, with joy and happiness.
- Psalm 2 - God And His Anointed
- Psalm 3 - Certainty Of Divine Help Against Enemies
- Psalm 4 - Trust In God In Tightening Times
- Psalm 5 - Morning Prayer Against Enemies
- Psalm 6 - Supplication Of A Righteous One In Distress
- Psalm 7 - Prayer Of The Persecuted Righteous
- Psalm 8 - Hymn To The Creator Of Man
- Psalm 9 - God, Protector Of The Lowly
- Psalm 10 - Prayer For The Oppressed, Orphans And The Disadvantaged
- Psalm 11 - Trust Of The Righteous In The Equity Of The Lord
- Psalm 12 - Prayer Against The Wicked Who Despise The Faith
- Psalm 13 - Confident Pleading For God's Protection
- Psalm 14 - The Wicked And The People Of God
- Psalm 15 - In The House Of The Lord And The Moral Precepts
- Psalm 16 - God, Refuge, Life And Safety