The Book of Psalms is a collection of poetry and songs over a period of hundreds of years. The title of the book itself translates similarly from the original Hebrew and Greek into "singing," or "stringed instrument accompanying," or something similar. This is a book intended to be sung, perhaps an early hymnal! This is why there is so often music set to them during our church services.
There are five distinct sections of Psalms and within those sections, subsections of categories. It is an organized and eclectic gathering of ancient prayers and sayings intended for individual and corporate use. You may be able to tell that some of them may be personal prayers and some you can see being sung in a worship setting. In the Episcopal Church, we incorporate them into our Sunday services and, when practiced, daily prayer services. They have been an important part of worship for thousands of years from the Jewish tradition into the Christian. Jesus knew them, studied them, worshiped with them, and cried out in agony one of the Psalms on the cross.
Our Lectionary and we often shy away from some of the language of the Psalms. "That is too violent!" Or "why is that in here?!" So often, the Psalms may say and offer in prayer what we feel bashful to say in public or out loud. Think about the times you may have cried out to God. Were your words always perfect for liturgical practice? They cry out in authentic words of humans in pain, humans in thanksgiving, and humans in every emotion. They so often say what we may not be willing to say.
I have found these words comforting and gave breath to my emotion and prayer needs that I could otherwise not have voiced. They transcend time when I recognize that Jesus said these same words in his own language and sang them. We have read the majority of the Psalms by this point. How might you go and read one when you feel in need or grateful? "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me," are the words of Psalm 22 said by Jesus on the Cross. How might you use them to cry out to God this Lent?