Prayer Note #23 — A Bible Study on Prayer, Psalm 84:1-12

The Bible has a lot to say about prayer.  Some of the places where we find wisdom and instruction on prayer don’t actually use the word much or even at all.  In Psalm 84, the word, “prayer,” appears once, yet the entire psalm is about communing with God.  And communing with God is certainly the aim and context of prayer.  Here is a set of questions to lead you through a study of this rich and passionate poem of yearning for the heart of God.

PSALM 84:1-12

A Bible Study

A Draped Cross in front of North Presbyterian Church in Elmira, NY; photo by GAC

How does the psalm writer describe the “dwelling place” of God and “courts of the Lord”?  What does he mean my these terms?

How does the psalm writer describe his own state of heart and mind?

What is the psalm writer talking about in verse 3?  What is his purpose in including this little reference?

What does it mean to say that someone is “blessed”?

If you knew that “baca” means dry or unwatered, how would that help you to understand verse 6?

How did a person “appear before God in Zion”?  What does that phrase mean?

Throughout this psalm we find phrases and images that speak of being near to God — to be in the courts of the Lord, in God’s dwelling place, before God in Zion, to dwell in the tents of the Lord.  How in concrete and practical terms did the psalm writer expect to be able to be in the presence of God?  How in practical and concrete terms do you experience the presence of God?

Have you had a time or times in your life when you felt very much God’s presence in your life?  What was that like?  What were the things that nurtured that experience of God’s presence for you?

Have you ever had a time or times when your spiritual life was dry like the valley of Baca or when God seemed to be far away from you?  What was that like?  What helped you to overcome that sense of dryness and distance from God (presuming you have overcome it)?

What effect does God’s nearness in your life have on the lives of the people around you?

What is the role of “trusting God” in nurturing our experience of God’s presence in our lives?  In what ways does it make us “blessed”?


4 thoughts on “Prayer Note #23 — A Bible Study on Prayer, Psalm 84:1-12

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