Psalms and Sinus Infections

I have a love-hate relationship with Spring. While I will never complain about warmer weather, longer days, and incredibly colorful drives through South Jersey, it also tends to bring a pollen, allergies, and a nasty sinus infection.

Unfortunately, that seems to be the case this week as a nasty headache, stuffy nose, and full head has caught up with me. Whenever it happens it always slows me down. It’s hard to think, harder to plan youth group meetings, harder to write blogs (which may explain the day-late post), and if I’m being honest, it tends to make devotional habits like Bible reading and prayer harder too.

What do we do when it’s hard to craft prayers of our own? What do we do when we are in ruts? What do we do when there’s so much on our mind that even the prayers we do pray just sort of devolve into us worrying about the most pressing chores that we have to accomplish?

I thought I’d share two related tools with you-  one really old, and one new. This year I’ve found myself turning to the book of Psalms more often than usual. It turns out that when it’s hard to pray, the Bible has a whole bunch of pre-written prayers that you can use. Pre-written prayers like the ones in the Psalms can give you words that you were trying to find but couldn’t, give you new words that resonate with feelings you hadn’t fully understood, or sometimes even invite you to pray things you hadn’t even known you were allowed to. When I find myself sick, tired, or in a mental rut, sometimes its prayers like these that both glorify God more than I could have on my own in that moment, and speak to me in ways that transcend the moment.

The second tool I thought I’d give you is something I stumbled upon a while back called “EveryPsalm”, it’s an endeavor that began right before the pandemic to write a song based on each Psalm in the collection. It turns out that when our prayers take on a musical quality, they can often pull things out of us too deep for words, and stick with us for a lot longer than when simply read. I have found the process of reading and listening to a song-prayer from the book of Psalms each day to be a revitalizing activity in my mornings and evenings, and in this week when I can barely put two thoughts together in my head, I’ve managed to keep praying with the aids of tools like these. I hope they can be of some help to you as well!
Psalm 2 is a personal favorite, but you can follow this video to over a hundred more

Dan Vandzura