Psalm 1: Praying Our Inattention
Psalm 1 is the biblical preparation for a life of prayer. Step by step it detaches us from activities and words that distract us from God so that we can be attentive before him. Most of us can't step immediately from the noisy, high-stimulus world into the quiet concentration of prayer. We need a way of transition. Psalm 1 provides a kind of entryway into the place of prayer.
Warming Up to God
Do you feel a gap (or chasm!) between "real life" (work, school, family) and your prayer life? Explain. Ask God to help you begin to make prayer a part of your life.
Discovering the Word
- What contrasts do you notice in the psalm?
- What significance do you see in the progression from walk to stand to sit (v. 1)?
- "The law of the LORD" is contrasted with the words counsel, way and seat. What does this contrast bring out?
- Tree is the central metaphor of the psalm (v. 3). Put your imagination to use. How are law-delighting people like trees?
- In what ways are the wicked like chaff (vv. 4-6)?
Applying the Word
- How do these two radically different portraits (the tree-righteous and the chaff-wicked) motivate you to delight in God's Word?
- How does meditation—listening to God speak to us through Scripture—prepare us for prayer?
- A life of prayer requires preparation, a procedure for moving from inattention to attention. The same procedure will not suit everyone. How can you develop a procedure that fits your circumstances and development?
Responding in Prayer
As you turn to prayer, spend careful time in preparation.