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Daily Devotional Ideas Based on Psalm 119

Updated on January 11, 2017
MsDora profile image

MsDora authored "Monday Manna-a weekly devotional." She contributed to "A Cup of Comfort Devotional" and has written many other devotionals.

Reading carefully and prayerfully through Psalm 119 can take less time than watching a 30-minute sitcom episode. No matter the time of day, the psalm offers the basic ingredients for spiritual and mental well-being:

  • At the beginning of the day, there are prayers for God's guidance.

Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found (verse 35).

  • In the middle of the day, there is motivation and mental reset.

Your laws are my treasure; they are my heart’s delight. I am determined to keep your decrees to the very end (verses 111, 112).

  • At the end of the day, there are affirmations of peace and assurance.

Those who love your instructions have great peace and do not stumble (verse 165).

For those who find the entire psalm too much for one sitting, it is conveniently divided into 22 sections, each of which provides good subject matter for meditation whether studied consecutively or in any order the individual selects.

Photo by Rushay Booysen (edited)
Photo by Rushay Booysen (edited) | Source

Did You Know?

  • William Wilberforce (1759-1833), leader of the movement to abolish slavery, prayed Psalm 119 from memory as he walked from Baker Street to Regency Park in London, England.
  • David Livingstone (1813-1873), missionary explorer memorized Psalm 119 when he was nine years old.

--Prayer Foundation

  • James Clerk Maxwell (1831–1879), scientific genius, memorized all of Psalm 119 by the time he was 8 years old.

-- Answers in Genesis

Unique Features of Psalm 119

  • Psalm 119 is The Longest Psalm, with 176 verses.
  • It is titled the Christian’s Golden A B C1 in a German version of the psalms, because it is an acrostic in its original Hebrew form. The verses are equally divided into 22 sections, each section of 8 verses titled in alphabetical order with a Hebrew letter. Each verse in a section begins with the title letter.
  • Despite losing its grand poetic form in the English translation, it is referred to by Charles Hadden Spurgeon as the Sacred Ode in recognition of its “saintly aphorisms” of “Holy Writ rewritten in holy emotions and actions.”2
  • The theme of the psalm is the Word of God, mentioned in 173 of its 176 verses by synonyms such as law, testimonies, ways, precepts, statutes, commandments, judgments.3 However, the author "never repeats himself," observes Spurgeon, "for if the same sentiment recurs it . . . exhibits another interesting shade of meaning."4
  • The psalmist gives credit to God’s Word for sustaining him in his youth as well as later in life. While some scholars are sure that David is the author, others believe that it was written by a young person (perhaps Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah, Ezekiel, Ezra or Esther) taken from Jerusalem into Babylonian exile.5


Suggestions for Devotional Use

The New King James Version of the Bible is recommended for the reading of Psalm 119. It titles the chapter Meditations on the Excellencies of the Word of God. This version also records the Greek alphabet symbols, of which the names and meanings are provided by Biblical Scholarship.

There are several ways in which Psalm 119 can serve as the basis for personal or group devotionals.


(1) Devotional for Any Day

On any day when the pressure from life's stresses seem overwhelming, find relief in a conversation with God. That is exactly what the reading of Psalm 119 sounds and feels like--speaking with God. From verse 4 and all the way through, the statements are addressed to Him, and quiet listening results in a response of assurances from Him.


(2) Daily Devotionals for 3 Weeks

Read an 8-verse section every day for a 3-week supply of daily devotional material (plus 1 extra day).


(3) Daily Devotionals for 4 Weeks

Select a weekly topic for meditation for 4 weeks (one month) as in the sample guide which follows. Consider one verse under the selected topic on weekdays, leaving the weekend free for miscellaneous passages from the psalm, even for selecting verses for the following week's topic.

In the table below, the numbers in brackets refer to the verses in Psalm 119. For the most part, the topic names the result of passionate devotion to the study of God's laws.

Four-Week Daily Devotional Topics for Personal Empowerment

Weekdays
Week 1 Spiritual
Week 2: Moral
Week 3 Mental
Week 4 Emotional
Monday
Enlightenment (105)
Purity (9)
Wisdom (98-100)
Encouragement (28)
Tuesday
Protection (114)
Honesty (29)
Understanding (130)
Freedom (45)
Wednesday
Praise (7)
Self-control (37)
Good judgment (66)
Comfort (50)
Thursday
Discernment (18)
Good company (63)
Recollection (153)
Security (121-122)
Friday
Salvation (176)
Shamelessness (80)
Focus (148)
Peace (165)

I will delight myself in Your statutes;

I will not forget Your word.

— Psalm 119: 16 (NKJV)

(4) Daily Devotionals for 22 Weeks

Spend an entire week in a detailed study on each of the 22 sections. On the first day, read the section from the selected study version. For the rest of the week read in different Bible versions. Use study notes and commentaries for in-depth study, and memorize selected verses.


(5) Daily Devotionals At Personal Pace

Study the psalm at personal pace, selecting favorite verses which speak to the heart. Journal the messages received and short stories of personal application. Return to special, meaningful verses as often as necessary.


Regardless of the form and period of meditation on Psalm 119, it is necessary to meditate on it. The statements of confessions and longings cannot be improved upon. It is a prayer. It is a song. It is an expression of sincere surrender to the joy and comfort of God's Word while enjoying intimate communion with Him.

References

1 Spurgeon, Charles Haddon: GospelWeb, The Golden Alphabet (Copyright by GospelWeb 2007)

2, 4 Ibid.

3 Learn the Bible: The Word of God, (Copyright 2005 by Antioch Baptist Church, Knoxville, Tennessee)

5 Cunningham, Gene: Basic Training, Psalm 119 (Copyright 2009)

* Ibid.

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    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Wow this is just wonderful. I will take from it and use it. Thank you much.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Eric, glad to be helpful. Thanks for your encouraging feedback.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      And Happy Sunday to you, Dora, and this is the perfect article for a Sunday. Well done. An excellent resource.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks Bill, and a very pleasant productive week to you. I appreciate your comment.

    • Janellegems profile image

      Janellegems 2 years ago from United States

      What an Excellent, remarkable Hub to help study the Word of God, Very good ideas. Love the layout. This is extremely useful and helpful. Voted up!!!

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Love love love this and will definitely employ it into my daily devotional time. I found the symbolic interpretations chart very interesting. I like that you emphasize breaking that psalm down. It's such a long psalm it can seem overwhelming and it's too easy just to skim through. I am going to start tomorrow. As to the word of God for you, bon appétit!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Hi MsDora,

      I love this and Psalm 119! It is so powerful to meditate on His Word, especially for me, early in the morning before heading out to the city for work and my daily commute. I cannot think of a better way to start one's day. And it is so true, what you have stated, about it being a conversation with God.

      Up++++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

      God bless you always

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      A perfect hub to end my day and begin the next bless you msdora :)

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Janelle, I found this useful for me too, and I pray that you be blessed by implementing it. Thanks for your kind feedback.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Lori, I love your bon appetit remark because this is really good food for the soul. Thank you.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Faith, because of its length, Psalm 119 is not a favorite for many. It says much about you that you meditate on it. Thanks for being an encourager to stay with the Word.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Frank, have a great week, then. Thanks for reading and I always appreciate your comment.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      There is just no better way to talk to God than in His Word, Dora. I guess it is like getting in the Spirit. We need His inspiration and this is a beautiful seed about that! I will love doing this, thank you!

      ^+

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Jackie, thanks for your encouraging feedback. You said it beautifully--"no better way."

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      My Father probably knew them by heart and said them every day. Bless him. I cannot say that he was the best of men, but he must have acquired some merit by reading this sacred song of David.

      Well done, Dee, and thank you for pointing us in the direction of great inspiration and sublimity. Much love.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Whenever I am at a total loss for which step to take next, I turn to Psalms. It always offers a quick pick-me-up. I like your suggestions for devotionals. I know a lot of people who will benefit from your tools. I can't resist sharing this with my friends.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Manatita, I can tell that your father was very wise. Thanks for your encouragement and your love.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Marlene, thanks for your affirmation and support. Like you, I turn to the Psalms for focus. They always help.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      You provide a method of inspiration and uplifting and a number of alternatives for use. Thank you for your research.

    • word55 profile image

      Word 2 years ago from Chicago

      I love this hub Ms Dora. You organized it so well. Psalms 119 is all so powerful. The NKJV is so unique. Keep up the great work. God bless!

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Flourish, glad you appreciate it. Thanks for your comment.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Word, I'm always glad to write something you like; also glad to hear from you. Thanks.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      I was not aware of the Hebrew alphabet symbolism in the Psalm. Thank you for explaining it. voted up.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 2 years ago

      Hello MsDora.

      Amazing . By putting into practice "Ideas ..." based on the greatly presented words of your article, we as readers and believers can benefit immensely in spiritual strength and maturity daily, for lifetime...

      Speaking from personal experience, there was a period of time in my life when my very frequent prayer was verse 18th, - then the goodness of the Lord has revealed to me wonderful, hidden things of great value, often much more then I need for a particular message, only years later realizing the principle of confessing the Word is causing divine results, which became my daily practice. HalleluYAH.

      Voted awesome.

      Peace and blessing with you.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      It has been a while since I read this section of the Old Testament. I went to an on-line resource and listened to a recording of the entire Psalm 119. It was very calming to my soul. Thank you for pointing this out!

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Catherine, interesting symbolisms aren't they? Glad to be helpful.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Michael, verse 18 is a powerful prayer. You are blessed to experience the answer. I shout Hallelujah with you. Thank you for sharing.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Denise, I know you were blessed listening to the Psalm. Thank you for sharing that wonderful idea.

    • radhikasree profile image

      Radhika Sreekanth 2 years ago from Mumbai,India

      These prayers made my day. While I studied in convent school, we had to listen to some of these and pray to God. Thanks for sharing.

      Up and interesting.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Radhikasree, some of what we learned in school is still relevant; the psalms definitely are. Thank you for sharing.

    • profile image

      Kathleen Kerswig 2 years ago

      This is an excellent idea. Meditating on meaningful, inspirational passages from sources such as the Bible can do so much good for the person doing the meditating. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Blessings!

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks Kathleen, presently I listen to this psalm being read from the Bible Gateway site; it is so empowering. Thanks for your feedback.

    • Muses on Life profile image

      Samantha Lim 2 years ago

      Hi Ms Dora, thank you for providing this great guide to reading Psalm 119. I have never encountered the symbolic interpretations before and found them fascinating. Voted up

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Samantha, so happy to provide something new to you. I was as impressed as you are with the symbolic interpretations, although I had seen the letter names in the New King James Version. Thanks for your feedback.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 24 months ago from London, UK

      Beautiful and inspiring. There was a time when I read Psalm 119 in parts as it is broken down in the bible. Next Time I read it, I will print this out with it. I love the Psalms. Sometimes, if you don't have the words to pray, you can just read one out quietly. God Bless. Thanks.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 24 months ago from The Caribbean

      Lady E, glad to hear that you also love Psalm 119. This morning, I had Max McLean read the whole psalm to me from the Bible Gateway portal. If you like to read to, give it a try. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

    • word55 profile image

      Word 24 months ago from Chicago

      Good day to you MsDora, this is wonderful to read as I wake up to start my beautiful day. Psalms 119 has plenty of communicative chapters and verses to relate to God with. Thank you for the clever breakdown.

    • MsDora profile image
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      Dora Isaac Weithers 24 months ago from The Caribbean

      Good Day Word. Hope today is happy and productive after such a good start. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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