Inquiry: Psalm 40, songs using the whole Psalm, worship/prayer guided by the Psalms

Posted by tom | Jul 14, 2012

Psalms: The Prayer Book of the BibleFor a "Theology & The Practice of Prayer" class paper based on praying the Psalms -- drawing from Bonhoeffer's The Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible -- I'm looking for a few options for songs of Psalm 40 which include the whole text of the Psalm. I'll use them in a classroom presentation, part of which will involve a comparison with U2's version, see and

At present, I have come across:

My impression is that church liturgy (across the spectrum from formal to informal) favors the use of parts of Psalms in worship songs and readings. As you may guess, I'm particularly interested in exploring the importance of praying the Psalms in their entirety, even those with imprecatory sections in daily devotions (individual, communal). Your thoughts on the topic and Bonhoeffer's revolutionary/Culture Making tract are of great interest to me!

FYI: Some material I've delved into and may be of encouragement/value to you personally and as part of a local assembly:

  1. -- excellent with a number of links to other resources, including lots of books for consideration. Below links are some additional links on Calvin Institute of Christian Worship which I appreciated.
    1. -- significant liturgical resource links to be explored. At present, I've found most of the liturgical resources (including Reformed Presbyterian do not use the whole Psalm). How about Mennonite Arthur Paul Boers on “The Rhythm of God’s Grace” :)
  3. The Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible  by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    1. -- wow!
    4. Brief, helpful background given in Eric Metaxas' Biography of Bonhoeffer,
  4. Spirituality of the Psalms by Walter Brueggemann
  5. Learning to Pray the Psalms, Praying the Psalms of Jesus -- by James Sire. Several years ago I hosted Jim for a 1 day prayer gathering/conference and on Thursday I interviewed him further on the topic. I'm very much interested in weaving together the thoughts of Bonhoeffer and Sire.
  6. Other samples of Psalm 40 I've reflected upon during times of prayer and been part of my research:
    1. (Anglican Chant)
    2. (1650 Scottish Psalter)
    3. (Roman Catholic Responsorial -- excellent piece on guitar!). Also sung responsorial in the context of a parish at
    4. (True Vine music is an outgrowth of the worship music of Michael A. Schmid and the worship ministry of St. John's Lutheran Church in Napa, California).
    5. (NewSong)
    6. (TobyMac)
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