The Psalm Project

A couple of months ago I spent a couple of days away with God at a quiet retreat center.

I didn’t go with an agenda—I wanted God to direct the time. And He did! He surprised me with a fun project He wanted to do with me.

First, you need some background: I’ve been asking God to teach me more about worship. Corporate worship is pretty easy for me—I go to church, someone leads, and I join in. But I don’t want always to have to depend on someone else to lead my worship time. I want to offer meaningful worship to God when it’s just Him and me, too!

So it was a lot of fun when God led me to surf the Internet (Yes, I’m serious!)

Why don’t you create a play list of songs based on the Psalms? I heard Him whisper.

Why, indeed? Well, I suppose because I never thought of it before! But now that He had planted the idea, I was eager to try it out.

I grabbed my laptop and my Bible, connected to the Internet (yes, even remote Catholic retreat centers have Wi-Fi) and connected to Amazon Prime. I searched the Psalms, one by one, and sampled the different songs that came up. If I liked them, and if they were free (that’s how I generally operate), they went onto my playlist. Sometimes I had two or even three songs to go with a single Psalm. Where there were holes, I’d search on some of the more well-known lines of the Psalm to see if that produced anything. Often it did.

I spent hours on the project—there are 150 Psalms, after all—and the time I spent was pure joy. I never would have found the time for such a project if I hadn’t taken the time to get away on a personal retreat. By the end of the afternoon I had nearly 100 songs, which I put in canonical order onto my playlist.

In the weeks since then, I have used that playlist almost every day. Each morning I read a Psalm, meditate on it, pray it, and then, with the help of my playlist, I sing the Psalm to the Lord. And because music sticks in my head, I often find the Psalm playing through my head throughout the day.

Sometimes I come to a Psalm that isn’t represented on my playlist. If I especially like that Psalm and want to remember it and sing it, I will search the internet to see if there are any songs available for purchase. (I prefer no cost, but hey—it’s worth paying 99-cents to get a good song, right?)  I haven’t been disappointed. I have found songs for every single Psalm through Psalm 50 so far!

A cool side benefit of this new practice is that I’m starting to what the various psalms are about. I know that 24 is “King of glory.” Psalm 4 is evening and Psalm 5 is morning. Psalm 35 is one of the rescue-me-from-my-enemies prayers. You get the idea.

Anyhow, I’m enjoying this little project so much that I just thought you might like to know about it. Maybe some of you already do it. Or maybe you’d like to start. If you do, let’s compare notes—or play lists!


2 thoughts on “The Psalm Project

  1. Ruth says:

    That was fun reading! Ever heard of Ian White? I beleieve he has a cd with all the PSALMS! He sang all of them! I don’t know if you like his music but I believe you will be able to hear all the Psalms that way.

    • cbezek says:

      Thank you for the tip, Ruth! I have not heard of Ian White, but will definitely look him up. I did find Randy Gordon, though, and he has written and recorded songs for Psalms 1-50 and intends to do all 150. I really enjoy the way Randy Gordon interprets the Psalms. But I’ll look into Ian White, too!

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