Several years ago I embarked on a project of tweeting one poem — or poetweet — each day for one year. The practice helped me focus my concentration on the craft of poet writing as well as maintain a daily discipline. [If you are interested in learning more about that Poetweet Project, which is different from these psalmtweets, can click the link at the bottom of this page.] Recently I have discovered, and engaged with, several other lovers of the psalms from across the globe who are dedicated to moving through the psalter sequentially and producing and posting one “psalmtweet” each day.
There are no particular standards or rules for psalmtweets except that they must be based on that particular day’s psalm and identify it in the body of the tweet. One psalmtweeter, a pastor from the Netherlands, typically excerpts a key verse or two from the psalm; another, an engineer from the UK who may be the originator of the psalmtweet, generally states what I would characterize as a principal theme of the psalm. My approach is somewhat different. I read the psalm, meditate on it, select an image or series of them that captures what I see as the heart of the psalmist’s message (or one of them), and then”translate” it/them into the economic expression that the tweet dictates. Often I will restate several lines or verses after I have studied the psalm in its original Hebrew, hoping to present some of the richness and uniqueness of that poetry to readers. For me psalmtweeting has become serious daily devotion that requires me to digest (double entendre intended) the text. In other words, I regard it as holy work. Poets have been translating the psalms or writing poems based on them for millennia. This is simply a new twist on that hallowed tradition.
Below are selections from my daily psalmtweets. These short prayers are offered not only with the invitation that you read and meditate on them but also with the suggestion that you consider creating some psalmtweets of your own. I believe you will be blessed.
Psalm 1 How blessed are they who delight in the Lord’s law How prosperous who follow His righteous way Those He keeps forevermore!
Psalm 2 The Lord makes modest Zion into His pinnacle. He upholds His people. Let the nations rage. He shelters and blesses His own.
Psalm 3 I will not be afraid of my enemies Though they seem to grow I will not fret The Lord knows my plight He will fight my foe
Psalm 4 Answer me Lord Lead me in righteousness Hear me in my distress Let your face shine on us O God Who alone is our safe place
Psalm 5 Lord give ear to me today Thwart evildoers in their way Let them not stand Lead me by Your hand In righteousness I pray
Psalm 6 Go away from me, you who do me wrong. Come back to me, Lord, my deliverer. You hear my cry; accept my weeping as a prayer
Psalm 7 You test our hearts and minds to search for penitence You save the upright by Your righteousness For that I do sing praise
Psalm 8 O Lord Whose glory is above the heavens Whose name is majestic Whose hand filled the sea What wonder that You care for me!
Psalm 9 The needy will not always be forgotten or the poor be without hope The Lord is hope and help He will arise to show the way
Psalm 10 The arrogant curse God Wait to crush the helpless But the Lord knows the desires of the needy He strengthens their hearts
Psalm 11 The Lord is my refuge His eyes are upon us He tests our hearts By his righteousness He lets only the upright see His face
Psalm 12 When the godly have gone, the poor are plundered & the needy groan The Lord will arise to give that for which they long.
Psalm 13 Though I ask how long You will forget me I know to trust Your steadfast love Your salvation will make me rejoice in song
Psalm 14 The Lord hears the words of our hearts Knows those who turn aside And those who seek after Him He will be their refuge
Psalm 15 Lord, who deserves to dwell with You But the blameless It is impossible Except our hearts seek that Except You make us so
Psalm 16 You are all I need Lord to slake my thirsty soul You alone are my heart’s counselor In You my whole being rejoices forever
Psalm 17 You visit me by night, try my heart, hear as I call You will answer You do answer Show Your steadfast love Let me see You
Psalm 18 Lord: my rock, shield, fortress, stronghold, deliverer, strength, horn of my salvation, lamp. You lighten all my darkness
Psalm 19 The heavens speak in wordless language and so does all of creation; God’s hand is in all of it, made undeniably manifest.
Psalm 20 May the Lord answer you, send help, grant your heart’s desire. May it be for Him. May we shout for joy over our salvation!
Psalm 21 Though they plan evil against you, they will not succeed. Be exalted, O Lord. We will sing and praise Your power forever
Psalm 22 The Lord rules the nations. Posterity shall serve Him. They shall come and proclaim His righteousness to a people yet unborn
Psalm 23 The Lord my shepherd feeds and leads me Gives my life’s breath back In the face of fear Holds and consoles me Gathers me home
Psalm 24 Creation belongs to the Lord Who set the dividing line between land and sea Who can know Him but one whose heart He cleans
Psalm 25 Lord I lift my heart to You Whose ways inform me Lead me in Your truth My eyes are turned to You Turn to me and grant grace
Psalm 26 Lord, I walk in Your faithfulness I will proclaim with thanksgiving Your wondrous deeds So my foot stands on level ground
Psalm 27 Hear when I cry and answer me Lord Teach me your way so I may look on Your goodness in the land of the living I wait on You
Psalm 28 Lord hear my call My heart is Yours Do not let me fall with those who harbor evil thoughts and rebuff You Lift me Carry me
Psalm 29 The Lord’s voice is powerful and majestic It is holy and glorious and strengthens His people Let us glorify Him with our voices
Psalm 30 Lord, You draw me like water from a well’s depths You restore me from the pit and pull of death and free me to sing to Thee
Psalm 31 Lord, silence the arrogant and haughty, who speak against the faithful. Be strong and firm of heart, all who hope in the Lord.
Psalm 32 Happy is the one whose sin is forgiven In whose spirit is no deceit The one the Lord teaches His way & makes righteous
Psalm 33 Righteous ones, sing to the Lord. Earth stand in awe of Him. From heaven He still beholds us. By His word helps us see.
Psalm 34 When the lowly call, the Lord hears. Those who fear Him know no want. He is near to the broken-hearted and shelters them
Psalm 35 May the way of those who plot harm against the Lord’s chosen be darkness and slippery paths May the evil fall in distress
Psalm 36 Lord, in You is the fountain of life. You let us drink of it. From You we draw our mercy. In Your light we will see light.
Psalm 37 Trust the Lord Delight in Him Be still Wait patiently Put anger away He knows your days He alone will establish your way
Psalm 38 My heart groans Light in my eyes dimmed I confess I am ready to fall Because of my sin Lord come in haste to help me
Psalm 39 May I muzzle my mouth against the evil & recall I am merely vapor My work is nothing My days fleeting Except You keep me
Psalm 40 Happy is the one who trusts the Lord Sings of His marvelous wonders Follows His way Seeks to please Him So finds His favor
Psalm 41 Joyful is the one who cares for the poor Whom the Lord will look on with mercy Shield from evil and enemies’ false tongues
Psalm 42 My soul thirsts like a deer Pants for the Lord’s living water Only He sustains my soul Turns my heart’s turmoil into song
Psalm 43 O God Give me refuge in a faithless nation Send Your truth to lead me As you lift my soul I will raise my voice in praise
Psalm 44 By no device of my own Can I be rescued from my foes Only by Your hand will I be saved So I ever raise my hands in praise
Psalm 45 God pours forth joy On those who love righteousness and hate evil Who are His sons and daughters Whose heritage He seals
Psalm 46 Even when life is in upheaval The whole world falls apart I will trust the Lord I will let go For I know I AM is with us
Psalm 47 God is King over all He will crush the enemies of His people He stands with His own To give them power to defend the land
Psalm 48 How lovely is the city of God How magnificent His high mountains By His just hand He shall make them stand firm forever
Psalm 49 Even the wise and wealthy die Taking nothing with them to the grave The Lord will take me and save me He has ransomed my soul
Psalm 50 Salvation belongs to God Who alone is righteous Who desires our sacrifice of thanksgiving to glorify Him Who delivers us
Psalm 51 God I’m permeated with sins I know and carry them always Do not fling me from You Clean my heart Make me pure Make me Yours
Psalm 52 Why do men love evil more than truth? God will uproot them But I am like a tree planted in His house for I trust His way and His love
Psalm 53 The fool says in his heart there is no God God hears and sees He spurns the devourers of His people and scatters their bones
Psalm 54 Hear my prayer, God, For when You hear I know You will answer and deliver me from enemies You will pay back their evil for me
Psalm 55 My heart quails I long to fly away as a dove Nest in the wilderness night and day For by friend and counselor I was betrayed
Psalm 56 Just like the dove, the skittish, weak and lonely dove, When I am most afraid I put my trust in You!
Psalm 57 O God, I need Your refuge until these life storms that could destroy me pass by So let my now heart be as steadfast as Your love!
Psalm 58 Let the wicked be cut down Like thorns before they ripen in the bramble So all will see and know God is a righteous judge
Psalm 59 My enemies howl like dogs Prowl about me Growl for lack of satiety But Your steadfast love fills me So l sing aloud to Thee
Psalm 60 O God, we have been broken by Your anger We have seen horrific things Turn us Turn to us Grant us Your help and salvation
Psalm 61 When my heart fails Only You can give me shelter Show me my safe place In the shadow of Your wings
Psalm 62 One thing God has spoken Two things I have heard That strength is His alone He bestows kindness to us all by His justice
Psalm 63 Those who seek to destroy the life of the Lord’s own Shall be given over to the sword The mouths of liars will be stopped
Psalm 64 Those who seek to hide The evils they do against the innocent By their own tongues will stumble You will shoot them down
Psalm 65 Silence offered to You is praise Who quiets the seas Whose streams are full and pastures clothed with flocks
Psalm 66 Let me tell you What God has done for me For my soul When my praise and heart are pure He attends the voice of my prayers
Psalm 67 Let Your people acclaim You and rejoice in song For You lead and bless us Make earth give its yield and Your face shine on us
Psalm 68 God is to us a saving God Heaping His rescue upon us He possesses us and our ways Blessed be He Who is Master day after day
Psalm 69 You know all my folly, O God, No wrongs are hidden from you Neither is my prayer So show me Your salvation as I praise you
Psalm 70 Lord, hasten to help me I am so low and in great need You alone can save me Only You can set me free Please do not delay!
Psalm 71 Lord, you are my hope From youth I leaned on You Found refuge in You Now in old age I proclaim You to the next generation
Psalm 73 How easy to envy those who seem to prosper Who do evil and doubt that You know But they will fall I choose to make You my Master
Psalm 74 O God at times it seems You have abandoned us When destruction burns before us We ask until when When will You deliver us
Psalm 75 We acclaim You and Your wonders We know that You are ever near We trust Your time is right Yet now we need You to help us!
Psalm 76 Make your vows to the Lord He alone is to be feared Whose glory is more majestic than the great mountains Give Him praise
Psalm 77 Your way is in holiness Your footsteps leave no trace in the path in the sea The greatest wonder You work is to redeem us
Psalm 80 Lord, come us back to us Do not turn our prayers away and feed us with tears Restore us By grace Light up Your face to us again
Psalm 81 Lift song to God at the new moon For He Who answers when we call Who says I AM declares we should
Psalm 82 God, when You take Your stand in the divine assembly You do right for the orphan Free the poor & lowly You judge justly
Psalm 83 O God do not tarry Come down against those who conspire to take the meadows of God Make them straw in Your strong wind
Psalm 84 How blessed the swallows that nest on the ledges of Your temple! How happy the folk whose every thought is fixed on You!
Psalm 85 Lord, lay aside Your fury for our offenses Show kindness Lead in Your way of justice So truth will spring up in our land
Psalm 87 On the holy mount stands the city of God Glorious things are spoken of it His singers know the source of springs is there
Psalm 88 Lord of my salvation I cry to you night and day I cry before you Let my prayer come there Then incline Your ear to hear me
Psalm 89 Let the heavens sing of Your steadfast love Where You established Your faithfulness & let me sing of You unto the heavens
Psalm 90 Before the mountains were You Are and a thousand years in Your sight are but as yesterday You sweep them away like grass
Psalm 91 To all who dwell in Him I AM says I will answer them when they call on me in trouble & will show them my life & salvation
Psalm 92 It is good to give thanks to the Lord For You have made me glad by Your works so I ever sing for joy for what You have done
Psalm 93 The Lord reigns Robed in majesty His throne is established Though floods & waves have lifted their voices He is forever mightier!
Psalm 94 Rise up O Lord & repay those who crush your people Who kill the widow and sojourner and murder the fatherless Judge them we pray
Psalm 95 Come let us sing to the Lord For He is a great God Let us worship & bow down He is our God and we are the sheep of His hand
Psalm 96 Sing to the Lord a new song He is great & greatly to be praised Ascribe to Him the glory due His name Worship Him in the splendor of His Holiness
Psalm 97 The Lord reigns Let the coastlands be glad Light is sown for the righteous & Joy for the upright!
Psalm 104 You Lord are great! You clothe Yourself with light and You cause grass to grow for the livestock
Psalm 105 Give thanks to the Lord Make known His deeds Sing praises to Him Tell of all His wondrous works
Psalm 109 My heart is stricken in me I am gone like a shadow at evening Lord save me by Your steadfast love
Psalm 113 Let us give all our praises to the Lord & bless His name For He raises up the needy He makes a home for the barren woman
Psalm 126 The Lord has done great things for us We are glad We went out weeping with seeds to sow We come home bearing His sheaves
Having (almost) completed a full set of psalmtweets, I am starting again at the beginning of the psalter. My process will be essentially same one that I have been practicing, but the results, I believe, will be different and lend to my belief that the psalms are living water, a well from which we can drink and be infinitely refreshed. They ever speak to the open heart and meet us in our place of need.
Psalm 1 Blessed is the one who walks in the Lord’s way Who meditates on His goodness night and day That one will know His bounty
Psalm 2 The Lord sits in heaven and laughs at those who plot evil But all who serve Him in awe will find His refuge and will be blessed
Psalm 3 Lord when enemies rise against me When my heart is full of dread You arise and show Your glory You are the lifter of my head
Psalm 4 Righteous God answer me In the straights Set me free When I call Grant the yearning of my heart To be for me my All in All
Psalm 6 My bones and soul are troubled I’m weary of groaning Deliver me Lord Not of my accord But for the sake of Your steadfast love
Psalm 7 Lord save me from my enemies For my heart is yours Judge me not by misdeeds But by my penitence Your righteousness is sure
Psalm 8 Lord, intricately Your fingers crafted the heavens Where You in glory dwell and You gave earth to man The work of Your hands
Psalm 9 Wholeheartedly I praise the Lord Give thanks for His promise He will not forget the needy and afflicted who put trust in Him
Psalm 10 When I cry out and ask why You stand far off I need to remember Your thoughts Not mine and that You hear the cry of Your own
Psalm 11 The Lord is in His holy temple He sees the hearts of men To test their righteousness to find ones whom He shows His face
Psalm 12 Guard us Lord from lies From this generation Who boasts of themselves Whose heart is divided Keep us who trust in Your Word
Psalm 13 Lord, often I have cried How long? How long will You hide lest I sleep death? But by trust my heart exults and You rescue me
Psalm 14 The Lord turns away from the scoundrels Who say there is no God Leaves them to shame Blesses the poor who know Him by name
Psalm 15 Lord, who is blameless Thoughts and words sure Who can enter Your tent? Those who obey You And whose hearts You make pure
Psalm 16 O Lord, there is no good apart from You Who abandons not our souls But great sorrows will follow those who follow false gods
Psalm 18 Lord, You are a lamp You are a light Be present with us always Enfold us Protect the innocent Stand with us on the heights
Psalm 18 Lord, You are a lamp You are a light Be present with us always Enfold us Protect the innocent Stand with us on the heights
Psalm 19 ( trans. Alter) “Let my mouth’s utterance be pleasing and my heart’s stirring before You, Lord, my rock and redeemer.”
Psalm 20 May the Lord answer in these day of trouble Send help and protect Lord Our heart’s desire is for Your help Act now Save us
click here to read an interview on the Best American Poetry blog about my original Poetweet Project .