Finding the Voice of Prayer and Worship in the Psalms
Dr. David Barker believes that it is essential for the church today to not only read the psalms but to read all of the psalms. For the Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at Heritage College & Seminary, the psalms give the church a broad voice of prayer and worship amid all that life may bring—from praise and thanksgiving, to lament, confession for sin, and even imprecation.
It is this heart to see the church find this voice in the psalms of David in his latest book, This Poor Man Called: Stories and Songs of David.
“My hope is that the psalms will come alive as our expressions of praise and prayer in both speaking to the realities of life that are often difficult and painful, as well as to the truth that God welcomes these prayers as part of our authentic worship of him,” explains Barker.
Barker’s book is officially the first book to be released under Heritage Seminary Press—a new publishing imprint of H&E Publishing. Dr. Michael A.G. Haykin, Professor of Church History at Heritage Theological Seminary, will serve as Editorial Director of Heritage Seminary Press. He says that the imprint hopes to serve the church in Canada through publishing volumes that will relay rich exposition of the Scriptures, timely theological reflection on current issues in the church, and helpful studies for Christian leadership and laity to enhance their walk with God.
“The mission of Heritage Seminary Press is to further facilitate the interface between the Seminary and the Church by producing Christian literature that can advance the cause of the gospel, edify the people of God, and glorify our Triune Lord,” says Haykin.
In the first of the two-volume series, Barker takes a unique approach to the psalms of David by focusing on the psalms where a historical reference is made in the title of the psalm itself. Returning to the accounts of these events found in 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles, Barker creatively retells these stories to set the scene for the lyrics of the psalm that have come from these experiences in Scripture. After providing the foundation for the psalm, he then provides a verse-by-verse exposition of the psalm and helps the reader understand how his life experience shaped David’s theocentric and biblical worldview.
It is through connecting the background stories of David’s life to the psalms attributed to him that Barker explains sheds light on the reality that these songs and prayers come from real-life experiences that are most often difficult and dangerous. In doing so, we can enter those experiences and find a voice of prayer, petition, and praise in the life circumstances we face ourselves—an experience that Barker himself has treasured.
“For me, the references to difficult situations in which that David finds himself gives me permission to pray and praise from my places of grief and despair and inevitably brings a new orientation of hope and joy in my pilgrimage of faith,” says Barker.
To learn more and order ‘This Poor Man Called: Vol. 1″, visit hesedandemet.com.