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Praying the Psalms: Engaging Scripture and the Life of the Spirit

, 2007
ISBN: 9781556352836

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In this thoroughly revised edition of a classic on spirituality, Walter Brueggemann guides the reader into a thoughtful and moving encounter with the Psalms. Brueggemann encourages us to let the language of the Psalms “reshape our sensitivities and fill our minds with new pictures and images that may redirect our lives.” This new edition includes a revised text, new notes, and new bibliography.

Get more from Walter Brueggemann in the Select Works of Walter Brueggemann (9 vols.).

Resource Experts
  • A classic on spirituality
  • Teaches you to use the language of the Psalms in prayer
  • Explore the depths of experience in the Psalms
  • Letting Experience Touch the Psalter
  • The Liberation of Language
  • Language Appropriate to a Place
  • Christians in “Jewish Territory”
  • Vengeance: Human and Divine

Top Highlights

“Thus I suggest that most of the Psalms can only be appropriately prayed by people who are living at the edge of their lives, sensitive to the raw hurts, the primitive passions, and the naïve elations that are at the bottom of our life. For most of us, liturgical or devotional entry into the Psalms requires a real change of pace. It asks us to depart from the closely managed world of public survival, to move into the open, frightening, healing world of speech with the Holy One.” (Page 8)

“The Psalms mostly do not emerge out of such situations of equilibrium. Rather, people are driven to such poignant prayer and song as are found in the Psalter precisely by experiences of dislocation and relocation. It is experiences of being overwhelmed, nearly destroyed, and surprisingly given life that empower us to pray and sing.” (Page 4)

“They are religious only in the sense that they are willing to articulate this chaos to the very face of the Holy One.” (Page 11)

“Psalms offer speech when life has gone beyond our frail efforts to control.” (Page 6)

“prayer is ‘the conversation of the heart addressed to God,” (Page xiv)

I know of no better book for introducing a congregation to the Psalms than this one.

—Edwin Searcy, pastor, University Hill Congregation, United Church of Canada, Vancouver, BC

[Brueggemann’s] treatment of both the post-Holocaust Christian use of these very Jewish prayers and the troublesome call for vengeance is most timely.

—Dianne Bergant, distinguished professor of Old Testament studies, Catholic Theological Union

Few persons have so lived in and with the Psalms as Walter Brueggemann. Here he takes us into their depths, which are so clearly the depths of our human existence.

—Patrick D. Miller, Charles T. Haley Professor of Old Testament Theology Emeritus, Prince Theological Seminary

  • Title: Praying the Psalms: Engaging Scripture and the Life of the Spirit
  • Author: Walter Brueggemann
  • Edition: Second Edition
  • Publisher: Cascade
  • Print Publication Date: 2007
  • Logos Release Date: 2015
  • Pages: 116
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Bible. O.T. Psalms › Criticism, interpretation, etc; Bible. O.T. Psalms › Devotional use; Prayer › Biblical teaching
  • ISBNs: 9781556352836, 1556352832
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-10-08T17:16:32Z

Walter Brueggemann is William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament Emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. He is past president of the Society of Biblical Literature and the author of numerous books, including David’s Truth: In Israel’s Imagination and MemoryInterpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching Genesis, and The Message of the Psalms: A Theological Commentary.


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    Digital list price: $10.99
    Save $2.00 (18%)