JesusWalk® Publications

Experiencing the Psalms:
A Bible Study Commentary

by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson

Experiencing the Psalms, by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
Book front cover | back cover

The Book of Psalms represents a rich tapestry of prayer and praise. Some psalms reflect a texture of deep despair. Others glow with a deep peace in the Lord's strength. Still others bubble with an exuberant exaltation of the Most High God. The psalms cover the range of human emotion and experience. What they all have in common is prayer, a reaching out to God from every imaginable experience.

In this 12-week study you'll attempt to enter into the experience of the psalms. You'll explore the meanings of words and learn to appreciate the high art of these poetic masterpieces. You will study thoughtfully, carefully.

But more than that you will learn from the Psalms how to pray. You will discover how to find peace in the midst of turmoil. You will learn to be thankful. You will follow the pattern of the psalmists as you begin to praise. In short, with the psalms as your guide, you will grow deeper in your walk with the Lord and more able to offer worthy praise to the King. You will experience the Psalms.

From the Author

Narrowing down the psalms for this study to just a few has been difficult. For more than forty years I have been reading the Psalms through at least twice a year. So many of the psalms have become my "friends" and companions. When I come to them once more in my reading, I am delighted to read their faith-filled words again.

As I surveyed the Psalms in preparation for this study, I listed 70 psalms as "favorites," and even that list of nearly half of the total of 150 psalms was trimmed to leave out some that I love. How can I narrow the numberwithout leaving out some of the gems of the Psalter? It's impossible.

But ultimately Experiencing the Psalms focuses on 42 psalms. The 12 lessons in this study serve only as an introduction to the rich collection of psalms that speak to us so profoundly.

My prayer is that you will purpose to grow in your heart even more than you grow in your mind during this study. That you will embrace these psalms and make them your own. That on your travels through this life, you walk with these psalms as your guides and companions on your journey to your final destination -- an eternity in fellowship with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. -- Dr. Ralph F. Wilson -- Author and Pastor

Here's an outline of the study:

  • Preface
  • Introduction to the Psalms
  1. Marveling at God's Creation (Psalms 8, 19, 139)
  2. Thirsting for God (Psalms 27, 42-43, 63)
  3. Choosing the Right Path (Psalms 1, 15, 133)
  4. Offering High Praises to God (Psalms 150, 95, 98)
  5. Crying Out for Rescue (Psalms 40, 69, 80)
  6. Trusting in God's Protection (Psalms 61, 91, and 121)
  7. Resting in God's Care (Psalms 16, 23, 131, 3, 31, and 46)
  8. Exulting in God (Psalms 57, 96, 126, and 24)
  9. Rejoicing in God's Character (Psalms 103, 145, and 117)
  10. Looking Forward to the Messiah (Psalms 2, 110, and 22)
  11. Finding Forgiveness and Restoration (Psalms 32 and 51)
  12. Giving Thanks to Our Faithful God (Psalms 100, 107, 118, and 34)
    Epilogue (Psalms 46 and 119)


  • Exercises to Help You Experience the Psalms
  • Psalms in Worship throughout the Centuries
  • The Imprecatory Psalms
  • New Testament Quotations from the Psalms


Experiencing the Psalms is part of the highly-acclaimed JesusWalk® Bible Study Series. Here's what people have said about this study:

"This in-depth study of the Psalms took me deeper not only into the word of God, but caused me to go deeper into myself and found a place that opened up a well of words and gave me insight that caused me to worship in a whole new way." -- Cindy Johnson

"I appreciate Dr. Wilson's application to the true Word of God, the research into the roots of the original language(s), and his helpful insights that enable putting God's Word into practical living, not just study and knowledge. Each lesson continues to draw me closer to God in a deeper personal relationship, which is vital to every believer!" -- Paul Klein

"If you've only thought of the Psalms as a book of songs or as peak moments in Davidic history as I did, think again. This study will grip your whole being as it makes application of the Psalms to your daily life a real possibility." -- Veronica Heabler

I like the focus on discipleship in these studies and the personal way in which they are written. The question often both summarize and put the finger on things. -- Judith Korsgren

"The Psalm study took you inside the mind of David as he bared his soul to the Lord in anguish and praise. It is as modern as tomorrow!" -- Don Miller

Order the book. It will enrich your thoughts, your prayers, your worship, and your life -- as well as provide a rich study for your class or small group, or the basis of a sermon series.

    You can purchase this 266-page book either as a paperback book or an e-book.

      Paperback format, list $19.95, must be ordered through and other online booksellers. You may also ask your local bookstore to order it. The paperback book has 266 pages and is 7.5" x 9.25". ISBN 0981972101 (978-0-9819721-0-7). Printed in both the US and UK.

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