Benefits of setting a time and place to meet God in worship each day
For many years Dr. Crisp has benefited from a time of Praise and Prayer by reading through the books of Psalms and Proverbs on a daily basis. He would love for you to join him, as you see below where he is reading every day. By reading only five Psalms each day and one Proverb each day these books can be completely read each month. Over the course of a year, one will read completely through these two books a dozen times and the words will become a part of one’s thoughts and mindset.
The Principle of Routine and Consistency
An Axiom of life is this, if we want something to happen on a regular basis, it has to be scheduled. The important and essential times in life we schedule. We schedule our meals, work, sleep, appointments, vacations, and time with those we consider most valuable and important in life. Our time of personal worship with God is of utmost priority if we are to know God and walk with Him consistently in life. Our days will be filled with “other things” and crowd out the essential time with the One who is most important unless we schedule time to Praise and Pray. Why a special time with God? Is there really a scriptural teaching that God’s people ought to seek God and have special times with Him as a way of life? The answer is yes, and here being why…
The Pattern of Scripture
God taught His people throughout the Law, Prophets and Writings and in the New Testament that Routine and Repetition is the “mother of learning.” This principle is seen in the practices related to worship in all of Scripture from a “Day” set aside for worship (Exodus 20:8-11; I Corinthians 16:1-2), to times and seasons of special occasions for worship such as the feasts and holy days of Israel that Jesus and His disciples observed (Leviticus 23, 25; Luke 2:21-24; Luke 4:16). These were so patterned and routine that the “order of service” was handed down from family to family concerning each week, year or season celebrated. These routines or rituals were designed to develop a mindset and pass knowledge from one generation to the next. King David with all his duties and responsibilities as God’s anointed ruler, set aside special times each day to worship and pray (Psalm 55:17) and Daniel had a routine in prayer he followed (Daniel 6:10) and nothing prevented him from maintaining his schedule, even threat of imprisonment and death. It was so predictable that even his enemies knew he would not forsake it. Many fail in scheduling a time in fear of enslavement and a practice becoming mere ritual. That can always happen, just as it can in any area of life and in any relationship; that is why we must be diligent in keeping that from happening. The reality is that through ritual and routine that the strongest relationships and memories are engendered. The testimony of millions of God’s people down through the ages is that in setting aside time to meet God, God indeed meets with us, speaks to us, encourages us and guides us into a life pleasing to Him. Make a commitment to form a pattern of meeting God each day in praise and prayer and make the reading of Psalms and Proverbs a part of your worship time.
The Purpose of reading through the Psalms and Proverbs so often
The Book of Psalms is the “Hymnbook” of Israel and the Jewish people. The Hebrew name, tehillim, translates into English “Praises” and in the book of Psalms we are repeatedly instructed to “Praise the Lord!” The Hebrew word transliterated into English is “Halleluhjah!” Reading through the Psalms primarily teaches us and leads us to “Praise the Lord!” To begin each day with words of Praise will enable us over time to develop and attitude to Praise, which in turn leads us to an “attitude of gratitude!” God likes this. As we read daily through the Psalms we gain Divine Perspective which leads to Divine Peace. I think you get the idea. Daily reading the Psalms places us in constant contact with those great servants of God who led God’s people in Worship of the Creator, Redeemer and King of the universe.
The Book of Proverbs is the book in all the Bible that is written primarily to give us “Wisdom” which is personified in the Incarnation of the Living Word of God, Jesus, the Messiah. According to I Kings 4:32, King Solomon spoke 3,000 proverbs and composed 1,005 songs. The theme of the Book of Proverbs is Wisdom for living and the book touches every area of human existence and gives sound instruction to guide us through each day.
As you read through these books day by day and month by month that God will speak to you right where you are and meet needs you didn’t realize you had and give you answers that you didn’t even know how to ask for in your walk with Him and life situations.
Join me on this journey into Praise and Wisdom. Start Today
If you miss a day or two or three, don’t be discouraged, just begin again on whatever day of the month it is and start walking on the journey again. Just keep walking. Don’t Stop!
The Program I follow each day in Praise and Pray through Psalms and Proverbs
Over the years I have used a number of ways to read through the one hundred and fifty Psalms. You can read straight through the Psalms as in the first day of the month read Psalms 1-5, second day, Psalms 6-10 and so forth. Since each of the Psalms differ in length some days will be much longer using this method than other days.
After trying many methods, I have chosen to read according to the day of the month and skip thirty (30) Psalms as follows using the example of the month of January each year, the reading would be thus:
Read on the First Day of the month
Psalm 1, 31, 61, 91, 121
Read on the Second Day of the month
Read Psalm 2, 32, 62, 92, 122
Read on the Third Day of the month
Read Psalm 3, 33, 63, 93, 123
Read on the Fourth Day of the month
Read Psalm 4, 34, 64 94, 124
Read on the Fifth Day of the month
Read Psalm 5, 35, 65, 95 125
Psalm 119 has 176 verses and so I read it only on the months that have 31 days such as in months with 31 days such as January, March, May, etc.…This way I can devote an entire day to reading this wonderful and unique Psalm which instructs us about the Word of God and how we relate to it. Of course, this means that as you read through the Psalms you just read according to the day of the month and when needed as in February you read the remainder “catch up” as time permits.
Any way you desire to walk through these two books will be a blessing to you and will bless the Lord and allow Him to speak to you. However, whatever way you finally decide to choose, the key is consistency.
The Procedure for getting most of the daily reading of the Psalms and Proverbs
Praise and worship in Western Culture is vastly different from the Biblical patterns in many ways and one of the greatest ways is the way we Pray and Read Scripture. From children, we are taught to “Close” our eyes when praying. There is nothing inherently wrong with this practice as it teaches us to “concentrate” on what we are doing and to not be distracted by “looking around” at others during such a special time of “talking with God.” But if we do not grow out of this practice or are taught differently or more fully, we could miss what Prayer and Bible reading is primarily about; namely, to allow God to speak to us. Many in our culture teach that prayer is “talking to God” and that is partly true, but not completely. Prayer is “Communicating with God” and that means He speaks to us and we respond to Him through prayer, praise and obedience. Prayer is not about telling God about us and convincing Him to do things our way or for us; rather it is about God telling us how much He loves us and His great plan for our lives, so we can please and obey him. From ancient times God’s people have written or read written prayers, many of the Psalms are written prayers and praises. God speaks to us primarily through the Written Word of God, the Bible. Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the great Baptist Preacher of 19th century London said, he always “prayed with an open Bible” unless it was an urgent, spontaneous prayer. The Jews during the days of Jesus and to this day, pray with a “Prayer Shawl” covering their head with their eyes open reading prayers to God or reading portions of the word of God and responding in praise, repentance, both, or some other way of obedience as instructed in the passage being read.
In relation to the daily reading of the Psalms and Proverbs, or any passage for that matter, it is best to pray as you read through the passages.
As an example, let’s look at Psalm one (1).
1 How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path of sinners or join a group of mockers! 2 Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted beside streams of water that bears its fruit in season h and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. 4 The wicked are not like this; instead, they are like chaff that the wind blows away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not survive the judgment, and sinners will not be in the community of the righteous. 6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.
The Holy Bible: Holman Christian standard version. (2009). (Ps 1). Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers.
As you have your Bible open and read Psalm one (1), you might read it through at normal reading speed. Once you read through the Psalm, go back and read the first verse and stop and “talk to God” and ask the Lord are there ways that you might be “following in advice” of the wicked or “joining in with the ungodly” and if so, to ask God’s forgiveness and seek to “Change” (Repent) and not do that any longer. God will help and answer that kind of praying. Read through the Psalm and the others for the day’s reading and work your way through them. You will begin to walk with God in ways you never dreamed possible. This is the way we begin to “walk in the Word” and God cleanses our lives and keeps us in fellowship with Him. He will keep us from making bad decisions as we read through the Psalms and Proverbs. This might seem slow and laborious to begin with, but that will change as you learn to hear the “voice of God” in the Written Word and the Holy Spirit, Who inspired every word of the Bible.