There are 5 kind of psalms: praise, wisdom, royal, thanksgiving, lament. There are 4 kinds of prayer: adoration, contrition, thanksgiving, supplication. Can you define each kind of psalm and each kind of prayer?


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Five kinds of psalms include praise, wisdom, royal, thanksgiving, and lament. Each of these categories of psalms is unique in purpose, demonstrating the varying purposes of praising and worshipping God, regardless of life's circumstances. Some indicate that prayers should include elements of adoration, contrition, thanksgiving, and supplication in order to most fully experience a close relationship with God.

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A psalm of praise seeks to offer praise specifically to God. An example of this type of psalm is Psalm 145. Part of those verses read as follows:

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;

his greatness no one can fathom.

One generation commends your works to another;

they tell of your mighty acts.

The psalm continues to offer thanks for the nature of God; He is gracious, rich in love, and good to all.

A psalm of wisdom reflects on wisdom, the fate of the righteous and the wicked, and the Law of God. An example is Psalm 10:

In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,

who are caught in the schemes he devises.

He boasts about the cravings of his heart;

he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord.

These psalms are typically short and expound on the common experiences of those seeking greater wisdom in a sinful world full of struggles.

The royal psalms employ royal imagery and can be prayers for the king. An example of this psalm is Psalm 2:

Therefore, you kings, be wise;

be warned, you rulers of the earth.

Serve the Lord with fear

and celebrate his rule with trembling.

Kiss his son, or he will be angry

and your way will lead to your destruction.

Typically, these psalms emphasize the message that God reigns even over earthly kings (and other rulers) and that His ways will ultimately prove victorious.

Psalms of thanksgiving are intentional celebrations of the actions of God. In this type of psalm, the speaker continually offers his thanks for the various ways the Lord has impacted his life. An example is Psalm 95:

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;

let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before him with thanksgiving

and extol him with music and song.

As this psalm continues, the psalmist offers thanks for belonging to God, who cares for his people like the sheep in a pasture.

Psalms of lament express a deep and painful sorrow. They typically ask for God's blessing or His intervention in the midst of incredible suffering. An example is Psalm 42:

Why must I go about mourning,

oppressed by the enemy?

My bones suffer mortal agony

as my foes taunt me,

saying to me all day long,

"Where is your God?"

As this psalm concludes, the psalmist declares that he will praise God regardless of his sense of loneliness and dejection.

One way to structure your own prayers is by including elements of adoration, contrition, thanksgiving, and supplication into your conversations with God. Prayers of adoration praise and worship God simply for being who he His. They recognize that He is ultimately divine and all-powerful and that mankind is not. Prayers of contrition express sorrow at the recognition of one's sin. This type of prayer asks that a person examine their own life and determine the ways they have fallen short of God's standards, typically in very specific ways—and then ask for God's forgiveness for these actions. Prayers of thanksgiving offer thanks to God for His blessings, which may include gifts such as health, favor, relationships, sustenance, and employment. Finally, prayers of supplication petition God for His help or intervention in some area of one's own life or in the life of another person.

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Wow, those are detailed questions and answers.  I think that you need to remember that you will choose the psalms and prayer based on the occasion.  There are this many so that you will be able to find the one you need based on when you need it.

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A psalm is a type of sacred song or poem, and the most famous psalms can be found in the Bible.  Though there are many subcategories, the five that you mention are the most popular.  Psalms of praise are also known as hymns, and were written in order to celebrate God.  Psalms of wisdom have a moral or teach a lesson.  The royal psalms are about kingship and how kings can help their people be closer to God. Psalms of thanksgiving are written to thank God for something he has done.  Finally, psalms of lament are about a painful experience or event.  They are written as a way of bearing the pain associated with that event.

The types of prayer you refer to are those typically recognized by the Catholic church, though there are certainly many different types and ways to pray.  In Catholic doctrine, prayers of adoration are similar to psalms of praise; they pay tribute to the wonder of God.  Prayers of contrition allow a person to acknowledge their sins and ask for forgiveness.  Prayers of thanksgiving, like psalms of thanksgiving, are a way of saying "thanks" to God.  Prayers of supplication or petition are the most common; they allow a person to ask God for help with something.

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The book of Psalms contains 150 poems meant to be heard out loud and maybe set to music as part of a religious service.  Traditionally, they were thought to have been written by David, but modern scholars tend to think that they were composed by many different individuals over the course of many years.

Psalms of praise generally focus on the nature of God and not on specific things He has done.  They tell about God's attributes and encourage the believer to praise Him for his goodness, righteousness, judgement, and wisdom.  They often refer to playing music or singing and rejoicing.

Psalms of wisdom contain teachings and wise advice that are similar to the book of Proverbs, but in the form of a psalm.  In studying the Psalms, we must remember that they were originally intended to be heard aloud, and perhaps set to music. These general principles are meant to instruct believers on how to live a Godly life.

Royal Psalms express the belief that God does His will and good works through the authority a king.  Sometimes,  royal Psalms celebrate the coronation or good works of an earthlt king.  Other Psalms compare God to an earthly king and even point to the coming of God's son, Jesus.

Psalms of thanksgiving offer the believer's praise and thanksgiving for what God has done for him or her.  Sometimes this is a specific good that God has granted, but sometimes thanksgiving for God's goodness in general.

Psalms of lament respond to a crisis, grief, or despair.  They are intended to move a believer from hurt to joy.  This type of Psalm expresses that God is present even when human beings cannot discern His presence in the world due to their own sufferings.


Adoration prayers express the believer's love of God and reverence for His goodness, wisdom, might, power, love, awe-inspiring nature.  This is sometimes considered the purest and highest form of prayer.

Contrition prayers express sorrow for sins that the believer has committed.  They are an important part of Catholic history, often used in the sacrament of penance.

Prayers of thanksgiving express the believer's gratitude to God for specific blessings He has given to the individual or humanity, or for His goodness, holiness, and strength.

Prayers of supplication express the believer's wish that God provide him or her with something he or she needs or desires.  This is the most common form of prayer.  Often a prayer of supplication requests health and healing for the sick.




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