THE PSALMS lie at the heart of Orthodox public worship and private prayer.
According to St John Chrysostom,
IF we keep vigil in the church, David comes first, last and central.
If early in the morning we want songs and hymns, first, last and central is David again.
If we are occupied with the funeral solemnities of those who have fallen asleep, or if virgins sit at home and spin, David is first, last and central.
O amazing wonder! Many who have made little progress in literature know the Psalter by heart. Nor is it only in cities and churches that David is famous; in the village market, in the desert, and in uninhabitable land, he excites the praises of God.
In monasteries, among those holy choirs of angelic armies, David is first, last and central.
In the convents of virgins, where are the communities of those who imitate Mary; in the deserts where there are men crucified to the world, who live their life in heaven with God, David is first, last, and central.
All other men at night are overcome by sleep. David alone is active, and gathering the servants of God into seraphic bands, he turns earth into heaven, and converts men into angels.
Elder Paisios the Athonite (1924-1994) said,
TO the blessed soul, nothing is impossible with God. Ask what you want of him with respect. If you experience difficulties, read the Psalms of David. You will see the way he made his requests to God, and that he received what he desired.
The Psalms are recited according to a slightly (but not very) complicated system of kathismata (“sittings”). You can see how the system operates from the information provided at the Protection of the Mother of God website, and there is an even simpler solution at the Dynamic Horologion and Psalter, where everything is worked out for you.