"I paused with the cadence of the poetry and I let the music of my Lord's verse seep down deep into my soul." Bettie Gilbert

“I paused with the cadence of the poetry and I let the music of my Lord’s verse seep down deep into my soul.” Bettie Gilbert

Awake, my soul!
Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.

I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples.
(Psalm 57:8-9 NIV)




I paused as I read the poetry and let the music of God’s verse seep down deep into my soul. The words themselves danced on the page in front of me, bringing with them a longing that felt as though I could join in the dance as well. Was it possible that I could let the cadence of the Psalm become my own prayer and song?

How could I use the Psalms as prayers and songs? My joints and marrow had long since given up their strength. Multiple chronic illnesses had found their place of hidden, slow erosion deep within my cells.

At least I could join in with the song, couldn’t I? — but in the dark of night my voice had also lost its timbre. A mere whisper is all I could muster when I opened my lips.

So I paused with the cadence of the poetry and I let the music of my Lord’s verse seep down deep into my soul.

“It is a song meant for prayer.” I heard His whisper gently echoing my own.



And in the pausing and the seeping, I felt a new rhythm being birthed in my soul. The beating of my heart, so weak and weary when first I paused to read, had now become vibrant and eager.

I bowed my head and thought of the night again. It seemed so long and endless while the pain was my master, but the rhythm of the song drew my eyes upward too. It was the voice of God’s praise that I was seeking now. My lips were opened, and my words spilled forth. Heart to heart, beat by beat, I offered my prayer to Him.


Dear Father God,

My heart feels the weight of the night

The night of my own pain

And I long for the dawn

Will you lift my heart to awaken with you?

Will you lift my song to join the dawn’s chorus?

Among these people, and in this land

I will praise your name

I will exalt the name of the Lord our God.

I sing my amen to YOU here.




Have you ever paused with a Scripture and let the words of the verse flow into your heart with a melody of their own? The Psalms were prayers written to be sung, in public settings where God’s people had gathered, or in private places where the shepherd boy watched over his sheep.

Now those same verses have been preserved for us, all these centuries later, in our hectic and chaotic world. Their music is calling today, asking for our hearts to join in the prayer-songs, crying out for our souls to lift up their praising too.

Chronic Joy has created a wonderful resource entitled Praying the Psalms to help us with different ways to lift our prayers through the Psalms.

If you have never tried to write your prayers as a verse, or raise your verses as a song, could you pause in your rushing about today, and use the cadence of God’s Psalms as prayers and songs of your own?

Bettie Gilbert

Bettie Gilbert

Chronic Joy Contributing Writer

You can find Bettie blogging from her home in the far north suburbs of Chicago at bettiegsraseasons.com. She is walking forward with Jesus in the middle of her pain and weakness from multiple chronic illnesses. The beauty of nature and her family (including nine young grandchildren) are Bettie's joys. She and her husband have been married for over 40 years and take great delight in their weekend coffee breaks together.

Praying the Psalms

Praying the Psalms

The Psalms are filled with raw honesty, calm reflection, and deep wisdom. They contain words we can pray to God when we cannot find our own.


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