And do not get drunk with wine, for that isdebauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, Ephesians 5:18-19
Consider what the most respected church fathers, especially Athanasius and Augustine, taught about using psalms. They said we should adapt and adjust our minds so that we are in tune with the psalms. We must sing the psalms with the help of the Holy Spirit. They are like a school for the attitudes of the heart.
For example, when you read in Psalm 1, “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,” you must actually reject the advice that wicked people give you. When you read, “But his delight is in the law of the Lord,” you shouldn’t take it easy and pat yourself on the back as if you are a person who already loves the Lord’s teachings. For as long as you live, you will need to think of yourself as a person who desperately needs to love God’s teachings even more. When you read, “Whatever he does prospers,” you should wish this for yourself and feel sorry for those who find themselves in trouble.
Don’t think that you are being asked to do the impossible. All you need to do is try, and I know you will be glad if you did. First, practice on one psalm or even one verse of a psalm. You will be successful as soon as you have learned how to make just one verse come alive and live in your heart – even if it takes a day or a whole week. However, after you begin, everything else will follow naturally, and you will find a rich treasure of insight and love. Just be careful you don’t let weariness and discouragement prevent you from getting started.
The Ninety-Five Theses is a text that everyone knows, most refer to, but few actually read, writes Stephen Nichols. Nevertheless, it is such a crucial text that it deserves to be read widely. Toward that end, Nichols has prepared this edition with an illuminating introduction, explanatory notes, and several illustrations. Martin Luther has left a legacy that continues to enrich the church through his writings. . ., writes Nichols. All of this may be traced back to the last day in October 1517 and the nailing of the Ninety-Five Theses to the church door.