We've released a new version of SermonCentral! Read the release notes here.
Preaching Articles

As I am reading through the Bible I am currently in the Psalms — what a great book! Sadly, for some, Psalms seems to be preached only as filler material in the summer holidays. There is so much potential for preaching in the book of Psalms. Let me offer three possibilities opened up by preaching from this book:

1. You can introduce new treasure to people. 

People tend to be familiar with some Psalms. Probably 23. Perhaps 24, 1, 110, 121, 127, 51, 8, 73, 37, 27. But what about Psalm 36? Or 33? There is a whole host of Psalms that tend to get ignored in the annual audition for three filler sermons. And don’t just stick to the filler sermon approach. Why not preach Psalm 34 at the start of a series on 1Peter? It certainly was in the mind of the apostle as he wrote his epistle. Why not preach Psalm 118 in connection with Easter? It might add a new set of thoughts to the Easter considerations, since Jesus would very likely have sung that with his disciples at the Last Supper.

2. You can connect with a different group of people. 

It may be a stereotype, but some have suggested that engineers enjoy epistles. They like the truth statements, logical flow, direct discourse. So if that is the case, who might appreciate the Psalms? Artists? Sure, and there are more of them than we tend to realize in every congregation. How about the suffering? Certainly. Psalms connects with different people at different times in the complexities of each personal biography.

3. You can offer a more vulnerable sermon.  

When David wrestles with spiritual realities, why not be more open that we do too? Personal sin struggles, doubting God’s goodness, tendency to trust in ourselves, feelings of extreme fatigue, etc. We don’t preach to preach ourselves, but we ourselves do preach. The Psalms open up the possibility of greater vulnerability in the preacher and hopefully stir vulnerability in the congregation. The Psalm writers didn’t treat God as delicate or fragile; they blasted their prayers at Him. Perhaps we can stir greater prayer in churches that tend to pray religiously, and Psalms would be a worthwhile workshop for that kind of goal.



Peter Mead is involved in the leadership team of a church plant in the UK. He serves as director of Cor Deo—an innovative mentored ministry training program—and has a wider ministry preaching and training preachers. He also blogs often at BiblicalPreaching.net and recently authored Pleased to Dwell: A Biblical Introduction to the Incarnation (Christian Focus, 2014). Follow him on Twitter

Browse All

Related Preaching Articles

Talk about it...

Edwin Clyburn

commented on Apr 9, 2013

I'm presently working on preahing from the psalms. Psalms like 121 speak to many people when preached correctly. Just how do we sing the Lord's song, in a strange land. A land that once worshipped and was based on God, now wants to eliminate him completely. How do we sing His praise so that the those that don't know Him hear us? I'm also working on Psalm 85, whoich opens differently from all the Psalms. It appears as though the writer in reminding God of what He did for everything, the land, crops etc, and then what he want the Lord to do for his people, Revive us again, Oh Lord. The Psalmist wants the Lord to now do His work among His people. I'm using this text for a choirs anniversary, and would like additional insights or thoughts on this psalm. Anybody have any?

John E Miller

commented on Apr 9, 2013

This is a valuable reminder that the Book of Psalms is a rich seed bed from which a preacher can garner wonderful material for the proclamation of the Gospel. It abounds with precious prophetic references to the Lord Jesus Christ and His atoning work.

Fred Miller

commented on Apr 9, 2013

I've never preached a "Filler Sermon." We're really serious about sermon time and what the Spirit has for us to put into practice during the coming week. I'm presently preaching a series, "Rediscovering the Lasting Impact of Scripture" from Psalms 119. Our congregation is reading that Psalm, discussing that Psalm and picking up their Bibles to "snuggle in with Jesus. Good Things Are Happening !

Paul Wallace

commented on Apr 9, 2013

We are in the middle of a series of Christ in the Psalms. Psalm 21 was the Crucifixion message, Psalm 16 the Ascension. Both Jews and Christians see the Messiah in so many of the Psalms. See Risto Santala for some great Jewish references. Next Sunday Psalm 45, Jesus the Groom

Brian Smith

commented on Apr 9, 2013

I am preparing and leading a Bible study called "Psalms: Praise, Prayers and Prophecy" It is amazing how much the Psalms lead us to praise God, to guide our prayers and prophecy many events of the first and second coming of Christ.

Tracy Watson

commented on Apr 9, 2013

This will be the third year in a row that I preach a series called, "Summer in Psalms." I am beginning on Psalm 12 this year. Approaching it systematically is always a good discipline. I love using the Psalms as a place to be quiet and listen.

C.brian Ross

commented on Apr 9, 2013

I have just commenced a 5-part mini-series taking one representative psalm from each of the five books that compose the Biblical Book of Psalms. When unsure where to go, I always turn to the Psalms - they seem to cover all of human life and experience, and are amazingly honest!

Olutayo Fasipe

commented on Apr 10, 2013

This is quite educative. I have been using the psalms for long but this is an eye opener to me in terms of other options available, to me, for effective use and efficient results. Thanks for the post.

David Jennys

commented on Apr 10, 2013

Good suggestions. I was turned on to the preaching potential of the Psalms when I was in seminary. I was challenged to design a sermon series from the Psalms, so my series was an example of the different kinds of psalms (i.e. Ps. 13 to demonstrate the lament). A few years later, I found a prepared series for Lent, which ended included the "My God, my God, why have youforesaken me..." from Ps. 22 for Good Friday, and the "Joy comes in the morning..." from Ps. 30 for Easter. Most recently I was inspired by a book by Michael Slaughter to prepare a series based on the Psalms of Ascent. The next project I might explore are the numerous compound names of God that are in the Psalms. I am sure I am not finished preaching from the Psalms!

David Jennys

commented on Apr 10, 2013

Good suggestions. I was turned on to the preaching potential of the Psalms when I was in seminary. I was challenged to design a sermon series from the Psalms, so my series was an example of the different kinds of psalms (i.e. Ps. 13 to demonstrate the lament). A few years later, I found a prepared series for Lent, which ended included the "My God, my God, why have youforesaken me..." from Ps. 22 for Good Friday, and the "Joy comes in the morning..." from Ps. 30 for Easter. Most recently I was inspired by a book by Michael Slaughter to prepare a series based on the Psalms of Ascent. The next project I might explore are the numerous compound names of God that are in the Psalms. I am sure I am not finished preaching from the Psalms!

Michael Karpf

commented on Apr 11, 2013

I love preaching the Psalms! Several years ago I went through some major crises in my life (having to quit dental school and getting dumped by a girlfriend within a 3 week period). It was devastating; I went through severe depression and had many questions of God's goodness. I spent hours pouring over several of the Psalms. I was in a Bible study and God gave me the opportunity to share from the Psalms. I taught through several of them, and it was one of the factors that made me think about applying to Dallas Theological Seminary. Psalms will preach!

Ben Clinton

commented on Apr 14, 2013

pastor ben clinton says..This is an eye opener and should be considered a treasure.

Ben Clinton

commented on Apr 14, 2013

pastor ben clinton says..This is an eye opener and should be considered a treasure.

Join the discussion