Our Catholic tradition teaches us that the key to praying the Scriptures is not to be detached from the events recorded there but rather, to make them “my story”. This is particularly true of the Psalms if we hope to use them as an effective form of prayer. Therefore, far from removing me from reality, prayer brings me closer to it, enabling me to face life and its ups and downs. The Psalms can help me to form the prayers I must make to God in the various instances of my life. The Psalms help to lift up to God our human experience.
Many of the Psalms seem to be filled with anguish, turbulent and tormented cries. Yet, they all end on a note of hope and trust in God. These prayers teach us that the way to peace is placing our confidence in a loving God. Even though the Lord is above the struggles and storms of earth, He reaches down with gentle arms to rescue His loved ones. There is a fundamental religious experience that the Psalms teach us: peace comes from submission to God will. Our confidence in God will never be disappointed. We should pray the Psalms with this view in sight: to make use of these prayers enabling me to surrender myself to God. If I make this my focus, the Psalms will gradually yield their mysteries to me. I will begin to discover that certain Psalms beautifully express my life and experiences.