27 May 2022

Praying with the Psalms in Easter:
27 May 2022 (Psalm 93)

‘Your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting’ (Psalm 93: 4) … the Throne in the Throne Robe in Dublin Castle (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

Yesterday was Ascension Day, but the season of Easter continues until the Day of Pentecost. Before this day begins, I am taking some time this morning to continue my reflections in this season of Easter, including my morning reflections drawing on the Psalms.

In my blog, I am reflecting each morning in this Prayer Diary in these ways:

1, Short reflections on a psalm or psalms;

2, reading the psalm or psalms;

3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary.

Psalm 93:

Psalm 93 is known in Latin as Dominus regnavit. In the slightly different numbering system in the Greek Septuagint and Latin Vulgate, this psalm is counted as Psalm 92.

Psalm 93 is the first of a series of psalms (Psalms 93-99) that are called royal psalms as they praise God as King.

In the Masoretic text and in English versions it has no title or author, but the Septuagint and Vulgate entitle it ‘On the day before the Sabbath, when the earth was founded: A Psalm of thanksgiving to (or for) David.’

The two main themes in Psalm 93 are God’s kingship and a connection with Friday, the sixth day of the week (counting from Sunday).

The Zohar notes that in Hebrew, this psalm contains 45 words, which is the gematria or numerical value of the word adam (אדם, ‘man’). Adam was created on the sixth day of Creation and went on to proclaim God as King.

Psalm 93 was also designated as the Song of the Day for Friday, to be sung by the Levites in the Temple in Jerusalem. This tradition continues today in the psalm’s inclusion in the regular Friday morning prayer service in Judaism.

According to Rabbi Yaakov Emden, the connection with the sixth day is reinforced by the psalm’s description of God ‘in his full grandeur and power as he was when he completed the six days of Creation.’ The reference to donning grandeur further alludes to the way Jews dress up in their nicest garments on Friday to greet the approaching Shabbat.

Psalm 93 also hints to the future Messianic Age, when the entire world will acknowledge God as King.

Psalm 93 is the Song of the Day for Friday, recited at the morning prayer service. Some Jewish communities also recite this psalm as the ma’amad (special daily prayer) for Friday. Speaking, as it does, of the completion of creation (‘the world is firmly established’ or ‘he has established the world,’ verse 1), this psalm is appropriate for the sixth day.

Additionally, Psalm 93 is the eighth and final psalm said during the Kabbalat Shabbat service on Friday night, acting as a summation of the preceding seven psalms. It is also recited in its entirety during Pesukei dezimra on Shabbat, Yom Tov, and Hoshana Rabbah.

‘The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their roaring’ (Psalm 93: 3) … tourists on duck walks in Saint Mark’s Square during floods in Venice (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Psalm 93 (NRSVA):

1 The Lord is king, he is robed in majesty;
the Lord is robed, he is girded with strength.
He has established the world; it shall never be moved;
2 your throne is established from of old;
you are from everlasting.

3 The floods have lifted up, O Lord,
the floods have lifted up their voice;
the floods lift up their roaring.
4 More majestic than the thunders of mighty waters,
more majestic than the waves of the sea,
majestic on high is the Lord!

5 Your decrees are very sure;
holiness befits your house,
O Lord, for evermore.

Today’s Prayer:

The theme in this week’s prayer diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) is ‘Mission in Australia.’ It was introduced on Sunday by Peter Burke, Manager at Mission and Anglican Community Engagement AnglicareSA.

The USPG Prayer Diary this morning (27 May 2022) invites us to pray:

May we give ourselves the time to truly discern God’s mission for us, allowing ourselves to be moved by the Holy Spirit and to follow God’s calling.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org

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