Monday, March 30, 2020

Write a Psalm by Annette M. Irby

Trust in Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah

Psalm 62:8 NKJV

Hey, writers. Have you been distracted by the news lately? Sitting down to write can mean a quiet mind, while we ponder the next step in our stories or the next theme in our nonfiction. Unfortunately, quiet minds are sometimes easily bombarded by the latest statistics or social media rants. I imagine you’re like me these days—using time in God’s Word to combat those thoughts/fears/worries.

The Book of Psalms offers a little bit of everything. Nothing’s off-limits, it seems, to the psalmists. They wrote from hearts full of praise to hearts full of angst. They wrote about attacks and then deliverance. They wrote of God’s answers to their prayers. They wrote what they wanted to see. They wrote out of a place of need or when they wanted to change their focus.

I’ve been a prayer journaler now for decades. About thirty years ago, I attended a retreat where the leaders asked us to write our own psalms to God, with no plans to set them to music. Our psalms didn't have to be poetic or rhyming. They are basically written prayers in which we pour out our hearts to Him. (Psalm 62:8)

If ever there was a time for pouring out our hearts to God, this is it.

If ever there was a time for pouring out our hearts to God, this is it. Write a psalm to God. #amwriting #ampraying @annettemirby

You can write about:

* Any theme

* Desire for God (Psalm 63)

* Longing for His Word (Psalm 119)

* Lament (Psalm 102)

* Justice (Psalm 94)

* Desperation (Psalm 55)

* Deliverance (Psalm 98)

* Repentance (Psalm 51)

* Sustenance (Psalm 23)

* Declaration of protection or provision (Psalm 91)

* Worship (Psalm 45)

* Praise (Psalm 150)

* God's greatness (Psalm 65)

* Rehearse past times when God delivered you and/or your family (Psalms 106, 136)

* Hope for deliverance followed by God's powerful and decisive answer (Psalm 18)

At times, the biblical writers began their psalm with desperation, but by the end, they were encouraged; their tone changed. (See Psalm 55)

Have you noticed this in Luke’s Gospel: It’s when the disciples are telling stories of the resurrected Christ, and how their hearts burned within them, that Jesus manifests His presence among them. He was already in the room, but He appears to them when they talk about Him. Rehearsing how God has provided (or healed) in the past, brings Him into your current situation. He’s right there, but as our faith rises, He demonstrates His nearness. (see Luke 24, especially verses 35–36)

Once we’ve poured out our hearts to God, we’re more able to focus on our writing goals for the day.

I encourage you to write out your psalms, dear writers. Let the words flow. It’s cathartic, but it’s also prayer. And as you know, prayer changes people and situations.

Your turn: What other themes would you add to this list? Which are your favorite Psalms and why?

Finding Love on Whidbey Island
Could what drove them apart be what draws them back together?

Liberty Winfield lives with loss every day. She’d rather leave her history behind her, but when faced with moving back to her hometown, the past becomes unavoidable. She takes a job at the florist shop owned by her ex-boyfriend’s family from a decade ago. Now he’s unavoidable.

Clay Garrison knows the pain of ruing his mistakes. Most of his regrets center around Liberty. If he could undo his poor choices, he would. Liberty is back. He has one more chance to make things right. She doesn’t believe anyone could love her unconditionally, so he sets out to prove her wrong. He must also try to right the biggest wrong of their past, knowing that in doing so, he could lose her forever.

Will addressing the past together help them find love?


Annette M. Irby*
Annette M. Irby has been writing since her teen years when she sat pounding out stories on a vintage typewriter just for fun. Since then, she’s joined Christian writing groups and launched blogs so she could share the joy of writing. She likes to say she’s addicted to color as flowers and seascapes inspire her. In her off hours, she enjoys gardening, photography, and music. She lives with her husband and family in the Pacific Northwest.

Learn more here on her Seriously Write Page.

Photo credit: woman writing: Pixaby
Author photo: Sarah Irby