A Middle Schooler’s Psalm

Posted: November 28, 2011 in creativity, soul care, worship

Yesterday at our middle school service, we decided to mix it up for worship. Instead of having live music from a band, we opted to have worship stations. Each station was designed to help the students creatively express their worship to God. It’s not a revolutionary idea by any means, but it was the first time trying this with the middle schoolers, so I was a little nervous. But WOW, they responded so well! There’s nothing more heart-warming and humbling than seeing middle schoolers praying for each other.

One station we put together was centered around the students reading Psalm 139, answering a few reflective questions about the Psalm, and then writing their own personal Psalm to God. I told the students that it didn’t need to be poetic or rhyme or anything like that; it simply needed to be their own expression of who God is to them. I want our students to understand that worship is both a communal and personal spiritual discipline. I wanted their personalities to come out through their writing.

Today I got to read through several Psalms that our students wrote. I was so moved by them that I decided to post a few on here to both encourage you, and to get some great insight into the worshipful heart of a middle school student. Enjoy!

Number 1 – Very poetic and rhymes, but also very honest.

God, you are everlasting love, shining down from above.
God, you are never-ending care, compassionate beyond compare.
God, you created me and this earth, you knew me before my birth.
God, I give you my heart so full of sin; you take me still, you are the most loving member of my kin.
WE LOVE YOU!

Number 2 – Love the ending of this one

Lord, how can I rise every morning and know the evil I have made and looked for.
Sometimes I believe there is a place to hide from your grace, but there is none,
And I’m so exposed, feel meek and small,
But with you I feel as courageous as a lion.

Number 3 – This one is painfully honest and really reveals the struggle within the flesh

I look around, I see His beautiful eyes, ever perfect on the outside a normal man, but on the inside I can here him say: let me in there, it’s dark and cold, let me in, I will shine your world. I go to school and forget all about him. When I turn around I see a nerd get pushed around, I thought nothin I can do then I hear him sayin: let me in there, it’s dark and cold, let me in, I will shine your world. I run and let God in and help those in need

Number 4 – I like how this one expresses who God is to the student

You’re always there
I shall never fear
For you are always near

You always care
When I cry
You are always by my side

You know what’s best
God, you are always to be Lord
To be Lord through night and morn’

You are my Father,
my Savior,
my healer

You love forever
You’re here forever
You ARE FOREVER

We need to create space for middle schoolers to express their pain, their doubts, their joy, their excitement! I think too often we count our 6th, 7th, and 8th graders out because, as one middle school volunteer in a different church told me, they “don’t have enough life experience to understand real pain or joy.” Well, if you read those middle schooler’s psalms, I think you see plenty of pain and joy. We need to be more creative to help our students express their emotions and thoughts about God and faith. And when we do… well, we might experience our own kind of pain and joy as we enter the story of a teenager.

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Comments
  1. Jamie says:

    Thanks for sharing! Those are awesome.

  2. Ginger Klein says:

    Fantastic! Thank you for sharing these; thank you for being an engaged leader David.

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