Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Praying the Psalms

The Psalter is the prayer of Christ for his church, in which he stands in for us and prays in our behalf.  Now, since Christ is with the Father, it is the new humanity of Christ that prays, the body of Christ on earth that continues his prayer to the end of time.  It is not the individual Christian to whom the prayer belongs–no, it belongs to the whole body of Christ.  Everything expressed in the Psalter lives in the body of Christ as a whole; no individual can completely grasp all this and name it as belonging to him or her personality.  This is why praying the Psalms belongs in a special way to the community.  If a particular verse or psalm is not my own prayer, it is still the prayer of someone else in the Christian fellowship, just as it is surely the prayer of the truly human being Jesus Christ and his body on earth.”  –Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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