Psalms and prayer

To pray is to first listen. Prayer is about giving attention.

Eugene Peterson notes in As Kingfishers Catch Fire that there are five books of Psalms and each book has a concluding thought. Five books in one. Five conclusions.

We realize our Hebrew ancestors wisely arranged this book of prayers to protect us from presumptuous prayer. Presumptuous prayer speaks to God without first listening to him. Presumptuous prayers obsessively, anxiously, or pretentiously multiply human words to God with, at best, a distracted, indifferent, or fitful interest in God’s words to us. But God speaks to us before we speak to him. If we pray without first listening, we pray out of context. — Eugene Peterson

prayer mary