Summer Psalms Series for Teens & Adults

Let us praise the Lord! Psalms was originally titled “Tehillim,” which means “praise songs” in Hebrew. The English title of “Psalms” originated from the Septuagint’s Greek title Psalmoi, also meaning “songs of praise.” Written by various authors including David and Moses, the book expresses worship. It encourages readers to praise the Lord for His many wonderful attributes.

Graphic by Matt Postiff

Start at the bottom for Week 1.

Week 4: The Lord Forgives Us

First Read Psalm 51

Everybody has sinned (done bad things). The bad news is that even sinning one time separates us from a holy, perfect God (Isaiah 59:2). In fact in God’s eyes, sins are so bad that they require death to pay for them (Hebrews 9:22). In the Old Testament, the Jews were sorry and paid for sins with the blood of animals that were sacrificed every year. Then Jesus came to give His life once and for all. Now the good news (or the “gospel”) is that Jesus loves us so much that when we believe in Him as Lord and Savior, by His grace we can pay for our sins with His death instead of ours (John 3:16).

Psalm 51 is a Psalm of “lament.” That means that the author, King David, is crying out to God in sadness for his own actions. He is sorry for his sins and begs God to forgive him so that he can be right with Him again. This shows us that even after we are saved, we must continue to repent when we do wrong. 

To “repent” doesn’t just mean to say you’re sorry and mean it. Repenting also means that you turn around and go the other way from that sin. Then you ask God to help you never to do it again. Jesus’ sacrifice paid the price of blood for all sins, but when you know about a sin, you must still repent for the blood to cover it (Romans 4:7).

But there is more good news. God promises that when we are sorry and confess our sins (tell Him that we know we did the wrong thing), He will forgive us and make us as clean again (John 1:9). Once we do that, He takes the sins away so that we never have to be sorry or feel bad  about them again. Psalm 103:12 says that He removes our sin as far as east is from the west. Think about a globe. You can trace your finger north, but soon you will be going south. But no matter how far you trace your finger east, you will never be suddenly going west. They never meet!

So don’t let the devil lie to you or make you feel guilty. Once you repent for your sins, God forgives you. You can stand on John 8:36 from now on. It says, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

Week 5 Resources: The Lord Forgives Us

Bible Verse: Psalm 51:14, “Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.”

  • After we are saved, we have a new view of sin. What used to be “fun” to us now just makes us sad that we would hurt God by our actions. Can you think of sins you used to love but now you hate?
  • Has the enemy ever tried to make you feel guilty for something even after you repented to God for it? Next time, you can stand on God’s promise of forgiveness instead.

2 Corinthians 13:5 tells us to examine ourselves. That means to think about our thoughts and actions. Sit down with God and ask Him to help you think of sins in your life that you need to confess to God. When God brings something to your mind, repent for it (apologize, turn away, and ask Him to help you never to do them again).

After you have examined yourself and repented, pray David’s prayer in Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Then thank Him for His grace and mercy.

Lord, I Need You by Matt Mahr

“Where sin runs deep, Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are, Lord I am free
Holiness is Christ in me”

Week 4: The Lord Gives Good Things

First Read Psalm 84

In case no one told you, the devil is a liar. He tells people that Christians are a sad, serious bunch who never get to have any excitement. The fun happens where the sin is, where there is a life completely focused on pleasure and self. Did I mention the devil is a liar?

Psalm 84 tells a different story. It tells of the author’s deep need to be in the house of the Lord and the joy that he finds in God’s presence. Three times he mentions the word “blessed.” Those who are blessed dwell in God’s house (He lives in us), find their strength in God, and trust in God. The word in Hebrew is “baruch,” and it means an increase of goodness on our lives.

Think about it. What happens when we give our lives to Christ at salvation? We receive the Holy Spirit of God, and the result is a change for the good. The evidence of this change is called the fruit of the Spirit. When the Holy Spirit comes in, He brings with Him love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Now think about the people of the world who are supposedly having so much fun. Really think about them. Do they know the deep acceptance of God’s perfect love? Or do they feel alone? Do they know the joy of having a purpose in life? Or do they drift, allowing their circumstances to bring them down? Do they have peace, or are they anxious and fearful? Are they patient, knowing that God has everything in control? Or do they struggle to figure things out for themselves? Can they control themselves from getting into things that cause harm? Probably not.

Psalm 84:11 says that for believers, God is “a sun and shield.” He lights our path and gives us direction and comfort. He protects us from dangers we don’t even know about and “no good thing does He withhold.” That means that if it is good for us, He gives it to us. Our lives may not always work out like we want, but when we are doing our best to live the way the Bible tells us to do, He will be with us and make sure everything works for our good in the end (Romans 8:28).

Week 4 Resources: The Lord Gives Good Things

Bible Verse: Psalm 84:11, “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”

  • Have you seen a change in yourself since you made the decision to follow Christ? If you haven’t, check out this article.
  • Some say God’s blessings are all about money, but the Bible tells a different story. What are some ways that God has blessed you?

The fruit of the Spirit comes from God. People can’t grow their own. The closer we get to the Lord, the more fruit we will show. Make an appointment to talk to God and read the Bible each day — and keep it!

Thank God for His blessings and the good things He gives you just by living inside you. Ask Him to show you His purpose for your life.

Better is One Day by Matt Redman

“How lovely is your dwelling place
Oh, Lord Almighty
For my soul longs and even faints for You
For here my heart is satisfied
Within Your presence
I sing beneath the shadow of Your wings.”

Week 3: The Lord Is Our Protection

First Read Psalm 91

Psalm 91 makes a great promise of protection but isn’t for everybody. It’s for those of us who have set our love upon God, those who have made Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. It is for those who say, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust” (Psalm 91:2). The author uses examples of things that might try to harm us and shows us through a metaphor of a bird’s wing that God has us covered.

Now, you might say, “How can this Psalm mean what it says?” I know Christians who have been sick. I know Christians who have had bad things happen to them.” That’s true. Even Jesus told us in John 16:33 that while we are in this world we will still have trouble. 

But sometimes pain is necessary so that we can help others feel better when they go through a similar situation. Sometimes a loss of one thing is just a step on a path to a gain of something better. In our Christian walk, we must learn many lessons, and some of those lessons can only be taught by pain and hardship. We trust God because we know that Romans 8:28 promises that even the bad things are working for our good.

So what is the difference between those who belong to God and those who don’t if we face the same issues on earth? Think about the difference between a forest fire and a burn barrel (a place to get rid of trash instead of the dump). In a forest fire, the flames can get out of control and even spread to houses nearby. With a burn barrel, the person using it chooses what goes in there and watches it closely the whole time. 

Jesus watches out for us and keeps us from unnecessary harm. He protects us from evil when it will take us off His path. And when we trust Him, He can even keep us from fear. See, nothing happens to His children without his permission, and He knows what He is doing. It’s our job to trust Him and to keep crying out to Him in prayer in every situation.

Week 3 Resources: The Lord Is Our Protection

Bible Verse: Psalm 91:14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;  I will protect him, because he knows my name.”

  • Verse 3 mentions the “snare of the fowler.” A snare is a trap, and the fowler is the one who hunts our souls, the devil. How does God protect us from Satan’s traps?
  • Have you seen a bird with her chicks in a nest? Why does God compare Himself to this instead of a tank or a steel barricade?
  • Verse 15 promises that God will be with us in trouble. Does God lie?  Even when we can’t see Him or feel Him, faith means that we take Him at His Word.

Many believe Psalm 91 was written by Moses after the 10 plagues of Egypt. Read Exodus 14, the account of Moses parting the red sea. Focus on Exodus 14:11. Even after witnessing all God did in Egypt, His people still didn’t trust Him to protect them. Resolve to trust God no matter what may come your way.

Talk to God about the areas of your life you feel have trouble. Ask Him what He would like you to learn from those experiences. Thank Him for His protection over your life.

My Protector by Debbie Mendoza

You’re my Saviour – You’re my Defender
You’re my Protector
You’re my Guardian – You’re my Redeemer
You’re my Protector 

Week 2: The Lord Answers Prayers

First Read Psalm 118

There are many reasons to pray. We pray to show God how much we love Him. We pray to give thanks and ask for God’s blessings on our lives and those we care about. And sometimes we pray when we are afraid or need God’s help in times of trouble.

In Psalm 118, the author (probably King David) says a prayer when he is in distress (which means extreme anxiety, pain, or sadness). God answers him and sets him free. Then David realizes something important about God. Not only does God have power, but He is on his side. In Psalm 118:6, he says, “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

There are a lot of situations that might try to make us fear these days. There are fears for our health and safety, fears about the future, and fears about how other people might see us or feel about us. But fear is the opposite of faith, and none of those things is as powerful as God. Psalm 118 reminds us just how amazing God really is.

Check out these facts about Psalm 118:

  • Psalm 118 is the middle chapter in the entire Bible with 594 chapters before it and 594 chapters after it.
  • Psalm 117 (before 118) is the shortest chapter in the Bible, and Psalm 119 (after 118) is the longest.
  • If you add up all the chapters except Psalm 118, you get 1188 chapters.
  • 1188 or Psalm 118:8 is the middle verse of the entire Bible, and look what Psalm 118:8  says: “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.”

God uses the middle verse in the whole Bible to tell us to “take refuge” in Him. That means that we can look to Him for protection, safety, and relief from the things that might come against us. He is powerful and can answer our prayers. Sometimes people might let us down, but the Lord takes care of His own. We don’t have to be afraid as long as we have given Him our lives and our trust. He will never get tired of answering our prayers.

Week 2 Resources: The Lord Answers Prayers

Bible Verse: Psalm 18:5 “Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.”

  • The Psalm starts by repeating something 4 times for emphasis (also look at the last line). Why might this line be so important given the topic of the Psalm?
  • Right after the Lord helps David, David immediately sings his praises. Do you tell others when God is good to you?
  • In the Bible, the right hand is a symbol of power. Why is that repeated 3 times?

Telling someone else about something good God has done for you in your life is called a “testimony.” It can be about the time He saved you or, like the Psalm, answered a prayer. This week, tell someone a testimony about a time God was good to you.

Remind God about all the wonderful things He has done for you and thank Him for everything.

Good God Almighty by Crowder

“I can’t count the times I’ve called your name some broken night
And you showed up and patched me up like you do every time
I get amnesia, I forget that you keep coming around
Yeah, ain’t no way you’ll ever let me down (me down)”

Week 1: The Lord is Our Help

First Read Psalm 121

Psalm 121 begins with an action. The author, King David, looks up. Then he asks a question that he immediately answers. “Where does my help come from?” It comes from the Lord.

When Jesus talked to the Father in John 11:41 and John 17:1, he also lifted His eyes to heaven. So did Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4:34 and Stephen in Acts 7:55. Lifting one’s eyes to pray is also mentioned in Psalm 123:1 and Isaiah 4:26. When we talk to God, we can bow our heads and close our eyes. We can also look up to where He lives in heaven.

But so many times in our society today, even Christians find themselves looking down a good deal of the time – and not in prayer. We find our phones fascinating, and the internet can be a very entertaining place when you don’t want to think about “real life.” But even after scrolling for hours and watching video after video, our problems, many times, are still there. In fact, sometimes, they get bigger. That’s either because we regret the time we wasted online or because we end up feeling worse after seeing so many posts from other people who don’t appear to have our same problems. More often than not, though, our phones can’t help us. But there is Someone who can.

Just like King David, our help comes from the Lord too. God never takes a nap but watches over His children in whatever we’re doing. That doesn’t mean we won’t have problems. But when we put our trust in Him, He will make sure that even when hard times come, He is with us. He will help us feel better knowing that He is in charge of our lives even when we don’t understand what He is doing at the time. He can give us peace and comfort when we trust in Him.

So the next time you have a problem, don’t look down at your phone. Look up! Pray to the One who can actually help you.

Week 1 Resources: The Lord is My Help

Bible Verse: Psalm 121:2 “My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”  

  • What are some of the ways that God can help you? 
  • Why is it important to remember that God made heaven and earth?
  • The word “my” means it belongs to us. What gives someone the “right” to call on God? (Hint: it is nothing that we do/could do for ourselves.)

This week when something comes up that causes you to be upset or mad or sad, resist the urge to bury yourself in your phone for comfort. Instead, lift up your eyes to where your hep comes from. Ask God to intervene on your behalf.

Talk to God about what Psalm 121:2 means to you and thank Him for always watching over you and helping you.

“I Will Life My Eyes” by Bebo Norman 

“I will lift my eyes to the Maker of the mountains I can’t climb
I will lift my eyes to the Calmer of the oceans raging wild
I will lift my eyes to the Healer of the hurt I hold inside
I will lift my eyes, lift my eyes to You”

Looking for more Teen lessons? Check out Free Teen Bible Lessons, a collection of videos that can be used with any teen group. Contact me for the original PowerPoints.