This is the third part in the series of our study of the Psalms. We’ve been looking at the different genres in the book of Psalms. Though there are a number of different types of Psalms, we’ve been focusing on the three main types: praise, lament, and thanksgiving.
In this post, we will look at the Psalms of thanksgiving. While similar to the Psalms of praise, they are different in that they focus on God’s answered prayers in the immediate past. In fact, the songs of thanksgiving are often in response to God’s answer to the Psalms of lament.
Like the other types of Psalms we’ve looked at, the Psalms of thanksgiving also follow a particular flow or structure. The writer begins by thanking God for what He has done. “I love the Lord because he hears and answers my prayers.” (116:1)
He then invites the Israelite community to join in giving thanks. Many Psalms of lament promise God that once the writer was delivered from their pain and sorrow, they would sing songs of thanksgiving to Him. They promised to tell of what God had done for them to others. “Sing to the Lord, you saints of his; praise his holy name.” (30:4)
The third part of this type of Psalm then describes in greater detail what God did for him.
“The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help.” (18:5-6)
Lastly, the Psalm of thanksgiving ends in celebration of the deliverance God granted.
“You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.”(30:11,12)
For more Psalms of thanksgiving: Psalm 18, 30, 40, 116, and 138
Want to read more about the Psalms?
A Perfect Mess, by Lisa Harper
How to Read the Psalms, by Tremper Longman III
Joy Comes in the Morning, by Mark Futato
Reflections on the Psalms, by C.S. Lewis
In reading this series on the Psalms, have you written any of your own that you’d like to share? We’d love to read them!