The following question was submitted anonymously.
Q: Can you please explain why we say tehillim when we want to ask Hashem for something. What is special about tehillim? Why not say any other part of tanach? Thank you.
A: One reason why tehillim is the place we turn to is because of the one who wrote it and all that went into writing this special sefer. If you look at the life of Dovid Hamelech you will see that he went through so many different things and through it all, he channeled his emotions to Hashem. When he went through pain (and he went through a lot of that), he turned to Hashem and cried out with words that expressed his deepest feelings. And when things were good, he thanked Hashem. He carried Hashem in his heart wherever he went and never forgot about him.
Dovid Hamelech writes in tehillim "Tzarah v'yagon emtzah u'vesheim Hashem ekra" and "Kos yeshuos esa u'vesheim Hashem ekra". What does this mean?
When things were hard, when he was going through incredible amounts of pain, he turned to Hashem and called out His name. And when things were going great and his cup was overflowing with goodness, he had the same reaction - he called out to Hashem to thank Him.
It's not that difficult to remember who to call out to when things are hard for us. Obviously, we'd call out to Hashem - because He is the One who made us go through it all and He and only He can get us out of it.
But...when things go well and we are experiencing happy, joyous times - THAT is when we have to remember to also call out to Him and thank Him.
You got a good mark on your test? You did well on your term paper? You had a good day at school/work? You heard good news - that someone got engaged/married/had a baby/made a simcha? Don't just let the moment pass. Say thank you to Hashem!
This is just one important lesson to take from Dovid and the sefer tehillim that he wrote. Any point in time can be used to turn to Hashem. Whether it's something difficult you are going through or some sort of happiness you are experiencing. You can always turn to Him and you should always talk to Him.
So why is this the sefer we use at all times? Because look at the author. Dovid Hamelech went through all sorts of pain and he used it all to connect to Hashem and get closer to Him. Any time you are going through something difficult, you can take out a tehillim and start saying a few words. Try to take out one with English translation (unless you understand the Hebrew easily). You'll find the words written there so comforting...sometimes it's amazing how a specific perek can talk straight to you and express just what you are trying to say so perfectly.
Dovid Hamelech also experienced happy times in his life and he used that as a means to connect to Hashem. He didn't forget about Him when things were good.
This is the sefer that has all emotions wrapped up inside it. At any point in time you can take it out and start reading...and use it as a tool to connect to Hashem.
Some people are able to talk to Hashem in their own words when they are going through something difficult or when they are feeling thankful. But some people find it hard to do that. The tehillim can be that bridge. It can help you put your feelings into words and use your emotions to connect to Hashem.
Try it. You'll feel so good after.
Please let me know if this answers your question or if there's anything else you still want to know.