Day 8 – Strength Training

Included in both Morning and Evening prayer is a daily reading from the Psalms which I like to call getting your Daily Psalt Intake. There is a link provided that will take you to the Daily Psalt Intake page. Just scroll down to the link for the reading for the day. When you finish reading the Psalm, you should say the Gloria Patria.

The Psalm or Psalms of the day are said or sung. At the end of each Psalm is said

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Click here for the Psalms of the day

From its beginning, the church has used the Book of Psalms as the center of its daily practice. The Book of Psalms is also referred to as the Psalter. Jesus quotes from the Psalms often, perhaps most notably when He is on the cross. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”, and “Into your hands I commit my spirit” are both direct quotes from the Psalms.

In the Rule of St. Benedict, which was written somewhere between 530 and 560 A.D., it is the habit of the monks to read the entire Psalter (all 150 Psalms) every week. Benedict takes a jab at the monks who might think this is a bit much by mentioning that monks in previous centuries used to read the entire Psalter every day:

Having arranged the order of the office, let all the rest of the psalms which remain over, be divided equally into seven night offices, by so dividing such of them as are of greater length that twelve fall to each night. We especially impress this, that, if this distribution of the psalms should perchance displease anyone, he arrange them if he thinketh another better, by all means seeing to it that the whole Psalter of one hundred and fifty psalms be said every week, and that it always start again from the beginning at Matins on Sunday; because those monks show too lax a service in their devotion who in the course of a week chant less than the whole Psalter with its customary canticles; since we read, that our holy forefathers promptly fulfilled in one day what we lukewarm monks should, please God, perform at least in a week. — Rule of St. Benedict XVIII

By the time we get to the 1662 Book of Common Prayer we are encouraged to read through the Psalter once every month, which is a lot more doable:

THE Psalter shall be read through once every Month, as it is there appointed, both for Morning and Evening Prayer. But in February it shall be read only to the twenty-eighth, or twenty-ninth day of the month. And, whereas January, March, May, July, August, October, and December have one-and-thirty days apiece; It is ordered, that the same Psalms shall be read the last day of the said months, which were read the day before: so that the Psalter may begin again the first day of the next month ensuing. And, whereas the 119th Psalm is divided into twenty-two portions, and is over-long to be read at one time; It is so ordered, that at one time shall not be read above four or five of the said portions. — 1662 Book of Common Prayer

As you read through the Psalms you will begin to see the entire spectrum of the feelings and emotions, both positive and negative, that we experience as followers of Jesus. In the Psalms are all of the temptation, conflict, doubt, fear, groaning, moaning, and grief on the one hand, and the joy and hope of His mercy, grace, kindness, and deliverance on the other. Initially, the Psalms might seem a little strange. They are often confusing, they are sometimes violent, and even kind of offensive at times. And yet, as you begin to read them in a repetitive and prayerful way, I am convinced that you, just like the generations of believers before you, will begin to see how wonderfully the Psalms flow and connect and how amazing they are as a foundation for prayer.

Back to Top