The Psalms are the oldest prayers in the Judeo-Christian tradition. There are 150 of them, and they were written for a variety of occasions. They remain popular as devotional resources because they speak to us cogently about the human condition. The Psalms express the hopes and fears, the gratitude and the anger, the joy and the sadness that we all experience at one time or another.

This paperback is the Tenth Anniversary Edition of Nan Merrill's Psalms for Praying, and the author has made some revisions. She has recast all 150 Psalms in poetic form and sees them as a companion to use with those in the Hebrew Scripture. Merrill hopes that these prayers will also be used to awaken us to love, silence, peace, wholeness, and acts of justice, mercy, and compassion. In times of war, these cries from the heart become even more poignant.

To give a sense of the beauty and the power of these poetic prayers, here are some verses from some of our favorites:

Psalm 17 and compassion:
"Open my heart that compassion may
be my companion;
Where I meet pride, humble me;
Where I meet anger, calm my fears;
Where I meet injustice, cause me
to act in love's way.
May I be as gentle as the doe,
as fearless as the lion,
as faithful as the dog."

Psalm 19 and love:
"The law of Love is perfect,
reviving the soul;
The testimony of Love is sure,
making wise the simple;
The precepts of Love are right,
rejoicing the heart;
The authority of Love is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
The spirit of Love is glorious,
enduring forever;
The rites of Love are true,
awakening compassion."

Psalm 44 and faith
"For not in military powers do we trust,
nor can arms save us.
For only in You can we put
our fears to rest,
and transform them into peace.
In you, O Gracious One, do we give thanks,
and forever will we offer You
our songs of praise."