The Daily Psalm F.A.Q.
• What is the purpose of The Daily Psalm?
The purpose of The Daily Psalm is to help you grow deeper in your relationship with God, so that you might be "like a tree planted by streams of water" (Psalm 1:3). The Daily Psalm is built upon two key axioms:
The Daily Psalm is a guide to prayer that will help you use the biblical Psalms as you communicate with God, so that your relationship with Him might be more vital and truthful.
There are many ways to use The Daily Psalm in your devotional life. The most obvious use would include the following:
I expect that some readers of The Daily Psalm will visit regularly, using this site as they would a book-form daily devotional. Others will visit occasionally. Still others, I expect, will visit The Daily Psalm often at first. As they learn how to pray in response Scripture, they will visit less often, because they've learned to do for themselves what I'm modeling in The Daily Psalm.
You can use the link "Yesterday's Psalm" to access, you guessed it, yesterday's psalm. You can move backwards like this more than once, if you prefer.
Near the top of the home page, you'll find a link to take you to tomorrow's Daily Psalm. This way, if I'm late, you can still find what you're looking for.
At times I may replace the home page with a list of dates, so you can access the psalm of the day even if I don't have Internet access.
Yes. Each Daily Psalm page has a distinct permalink. You can find it below the daily portion, above the text of the chapter.
The website colors vary. Usually green is the dominant color, but it might also be purple (in Advent or Lent), red (Holy Week or Pentecost), gold/white (Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, Trinity Sunday, Christ the King Sunday), or black/gray (Ash Wednesday, Good Friday). The website color reflects the color for the day of the Christian or liturgical year. For more information on this color scheme and its devotional significance, see my series "Advent and the Christian Year," especially Part 2: "Overview of the Christian Year" and Part 3: "The Colors of the Christian Year."
Yes. You are free to use The Daily Psalm in any Christian ministry setting, without charge. I would ask that you give appropriate credit, since this might help others learn about and benefit from The Daily Psalm. If you want to include material from The Daily Psalm in something for sale, please contact me for special permission.
I begin each calendar year with Psalm 1. So you can count on reading Psalm 1 every January 1st. Most of the time the psalm of the day is the next one in chapter order. So we'll read Psalm 2 on January 2nd, etc. Yet during certain days or seasons of the year (Advent, Christmas, Ephiphany, Lent, Holy Week, Easter, Eastertide, etc.) I use psalms that are chosen especially for their themes, which reflect a particular liturgical season. For example, during Advent I'd chose psalms that emphasize hope, waiting, and prophetic expectation.
During every year The Daily Psalm will focus upon each psalm at least twice. Since there are 150 chapters in the book of Psalms, this means that there will be 65 seasonally-chosen psalms (or 66 in leap year).
The Daily Psalm is the result of the convergence of four streams of my life.
The first stream is The Daily Bible Readings. For over ten years now I've been devising for my church a structure for reading through the entire Bible in two years. Many have shared with me that this has brought new vitality to their faith. So I keep doing it each year, including 2006.
"But wait," you might want to say, "aren't there other read-through-the Bible systems, and even Bibles that are structured for reading through the whole text in a year?" Yes, there are many other options. The most common are: 1) the read-through-the-Bible plans that take you through the whole Bible in a year, chapter by chapter, usually with both Old and New Testament readings each day; 2) the liturgically-based reading known as the Lectionary, which is used in several denominations (Catholic, Lutheran, etc.). A lectionary-based reading system is closely correlated to the Christian Year, and guides one through the entire Bible in two or three years.
My Daily Bible Readings system combines the strengths (and weaknesses) of both familiar approaches. Each day (with a few exceptions) will include one chapter of the Old Testament, one from the New, and one psalm. In two years, the system will guide you through every passage of the Bible at least once. You'll read the New Testament twice through, and the Psalms four times through. Though The Daily Bible Readings usually go in the order found in Scripture, like a "through-the-Bible" approach, at certain times the daily readings will be appropriate for the day or season of the Christian year (e.g. The readings on Christmas Day celebrate the birth of Jesus.)
Note: for more information about The Daily Bible Readings, click here.
The second stream began with the work I did five years ago on the NIV Worship Bible. For that Bible I wrote hundreds of prayers based on specific biblical passages. As a result of this exercise, I began doing the same thing in my personal devotions. Now, five years later, I've grown to love the practice of "praying the Scriptures," and I want to share this with others. The Daily Prayer posted on this website is simply one of my own prayerful responses to Scripture.
The third stream is the Psalms. Four years ago I preached a series of sermons on the Psalms that became the basis for my book, No Holds Barred: Wrestling with God in Prayer. The Daily Psalm is an extension of the mission of No Holds Barred, which is to help folks get to know God better through prayer inspired by the Psalms.
The fourth stream is the Internet. As you may know, I have a website, called, appropriately enough, markdroberts.com. I've been amazed by the response to this site. In two years I've had over 800,000 visitors from more than 100 countries. There is great power in the Internet to communicate with people today, and my website has helped me to gain some skill with putting together websites. The Daily Psalm allows me to use my familiarity with the Internet to help people use Scripture - and the Psalms in particular - in their personal devotions.
If you add up The Daily Bible Readings, plus the NIV Worship Bible, plus the Psalms, plus the Internet, you come out with . . . The Daily Psalm. This is my new website, active as of January 1, 2006. The plan for this site is simple. I will share with whoever visits this site my own use of the Psalms in my personal devotions. Specifically, I will take a psalm each day and will read it prayerfully. When something in this psalm speaks to my heart, I will write a prayer, as I have been doing for over the past five years. Then I will take this Daily Prayer and the excerpt that touched me, and put these put on The Daily Psalm website, along with the whole text of the psalm for the day and a short Postscript of explanation or reflection. The purpose of The Daily Psalm is to help you discover the riches of the Psalms for your personal relationship with the Lord. I want to model something that I hope you'll learn to do each day in your own life.
Many readers of No Holds Barred have shared with me that their relationship with God has been revitalized through using the Psalms in the way I suggest and model in the book. This has been a giant encouragement to me, and was the specific inspiration behind The Daily Psalm. It gives me great joy to help people get to know God more intimately and truly through reading and praying the Psalms.
At the top of my personal website, I describe myself as "Pastor, Author, Speaker, and Blogger." I might add to this list: Christian, husband, father, son, uncle, friend, among many other identifying labels. Let me give a few details. For a more official bio, check my website.
Pastor: I'm the Senior Pastor of Irvine Presbyterian Church in Southern California, where I've served for almost fifteen years. (Ben Patterson was the founding pastor of our church. I'm #2.)
Author: I've written five books, including my latest book that focuses on the Psalms: No Holds Barred: Wrestling with God in Prayer. I've also written many articles for magazines, including Christianity Today, Leadership, and In Touch. I have a regular column in Worship Leader magazine called "Lyrical Poetry." It applies the Psalms to worship and worship leading.
Speaker: I preach and teach every week at Irvine Presbyterian Church. I also teach classes for Fuller Theological Seminary. I speak at other churches and at retreats a few times a year.
Blogger: I blog at markdroberts.com, putting up my thoughts on religion and culture just about every day. In my first two years of blogging I've had over 900,000 visitors.
Christian: I accepted Christ at a Billy Graham crusade in Los Angeles in 1963. I grew up in the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, where my faith was nurtured in a strong, Bible-centered church. If necessary, I'd identify myself as an evangelical, Reformed Christian, but I generally try to look for unity with other Christians, rather than differences.
Husband, father, etc.: My family is very important to me, and is a primary context in which I work out my faith.
Not directly, though we share the same basic text (the Psalms) and conviction (that the Psalms will help us grow in relationship with God). So, for example, this website is not officially connected to My Daily Psalm, a Psalm-based devotional ministry connected with the Christian band, Floodgate. To my know, no other website does with the Psalms exactly what I do on The Daily Psalm. But, since my purpose is to get people to read, meditate upon, and pray the Psalms, I'd welcome any other sites like mine. This is Kingdom work, not a competitive business.
The Prayers and Postcripts of The Daily Psalm Copyright © 2005 by Mark D. Roberts
Note: You may download the Prayers and Postcripts at no cost, for personal use or for use in a Christian ministry, as long as you are not publishing them for sale. All I ask is that you give credit where credit is due. For all other uses, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
The Scripture text used in The Daily Psalm is from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved