Pause (Paper)

Spending Lent with the Psalms

  • 9780664268435
  • 5.5 x 8.5
  • 144
  • 56.25
  • Paper
  • 0664268439
  • 1/2/2024
  • 7-10 days processing
$ 17.00


Lent is an ideal time to step back and reflect on the deeper movements of the spirit, and Elizabeth Caldwell helps readers do this through a simple but profound approach.

Pause: Spending Lent with the Psalms invites us to take up the spiritual practice of encountering, sinking into, and deeply engaging with one psalm each week during Lent and Holy Week.

The season of Lent encourages Christians to consider a different pace—one of slowing down, noticing, pausing—than what our dominant culture values. The invitation to pause with the Psalms begins on Ash Wednesday, starting with a mark of ashes on our foreheads that reminds us that in spite of our failures—things we have done or failed to do—we belong to God. Readers are then guided into an exploration of Psalm 51 and the theme of a clean heart. Each chapter helps readers to connect an image drawn from that psalm, such as paths, faces, blessing, tables, waiting, thanksgiving, listening, being alone or abandoned, and hands, with their own lives. At the close of each chapter, readers are invited to try a different prayer practice to help them continue to reflect on the theme and psalm each day. This intentional engagement—without feeling burdensome—opens just enough space and time for a creative spiritual practice to flourish, sustaining the life of faith during the Lenten season in ways that can make a difference in God’s world.

Reflection and discussion questions are included with each chapter and the book includes a leader's guide at the end for study groups.

In addition to the individual devotion and group study material found in the book, you can access free digital resources, which include a sermon series guide, children's bulletins, and illustrated sheets for use during worship or study, at

Product Excerpts and Related Resources


“While Elizabeth Caldwell has done all the research and provides guidance for individuals as well as lesson plans for groups, her invitation is open and gentle, compelling, not burdensome. She invites us to join the long line of pilgrims who have turned to the Psalms to find their way into God’s presence. She is a trustworthy leader for a Lenten pilgrimage that will change your life.” —Laura Mendenhall, President Emerita, Columbia Theological Seminary

“From time to time, the Holy Spirit helps me see something in a new way. In this beautiful, thoughtful book, Caldwell helps me see the season of Lent and the Psalms anew. With wisdom and grace, she invites us to open our eyes and tend to our hearts and pause so that God may do what God does best—draw us near and make us more faithful. I am deeply grateful.” —Rodger Y. Nishioka, Senior Pastor, Village Presbyterian Church, Prairie Village, Kansas

“Elizabeth Caldwell’s small, soulful volume is like a prism through which the gentle and passionate light of God reflects through selected psalms. Each chapter invites readers to pause and linger with the ancient words, through a variety of translations and paraphrases, in order that the words can help us uncover layer after layer of personal meaning. Like a relationship that ripens with time, Caldwell’s pastoral heart and invitational style gives us a trustworthy companion for our Lenten journeys. Pausing in this way is indeed, as the author states, countercultural. It is also a gift. This book is one I will return to year after year.” —Eugenia Anne Gamble, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) pastor and author of Words of Love: A Healing Journey with the Ten Commandments

"Pause is structured as a once-weekly devotional, yet there’s enough rich content to enjoy throughout the week, making it a forgiving choice for those with busy schedules who prefer to read on their own. However, it’s the leader’s guide that makes this an ideal choice for small groups – it’s user-friendly, includes a 'pause' (spiritual practice), and additional activities and discussion questions that will draw participants back week after week." – Presbyterian Outlook

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