A Biography Written in Prayer

Alexander Maclaren’s The Life of David as Reflected in His Psalms


Scottish minister Alexander Maclaren (1826-1910) put the Psalms of David in order. As many as he could, that is. He took the Psalms he thought were written by David, and he put them into their historical context.

These were David’s prayers, and they tell his story. Below is a list of some of those Psalms, with Maclaren’s insights into them.

First, here is Maclaren in the introduction to his book, describing David (the line at the end, about poets suffering, is from the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley):

“None of the great men of Scripture pass through a course of so many changes; none of them touched human life at so many points; none of them were so tempered and polished by swift alternation of heat and cold, by such heavy blows and the friction of such rapid revolutions. Like his great Son and Lord, though in a lower sense, he, too, must be ‘in all points tempted like as we are,’ that his words may be fitted for the solace and strength of the whole world. Poets ‘learn in suffering what they teach in song.'”

A Biography Written in Prayer

Alexander Maclaren’s The Life of David as Reflected in His Psalms


Psalms 19 and 8 – David’s Early Works?

Psalm 22 – David Grows as a Prophet

Psalm 110 in Historical Context

Psalms 41, 39, and 55 – A Sick and Weary King Observes the Gathering Storm

Psalms 3, 4, and 63 – How David Got His Kingdom Back

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