Psalm 22 is well known as a messianic Psalm because it is the Psalm on Jesus’ lips when he is hanging on the cross. It is easy to see why. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And as you read through the Psalm there are several aspects that fit exactly what Jesus went through, such as the casting of lots for his clothing. But this is also a Psalm of David and was prayed in a particularly difficult moment of David’s life, when he felt abandoned by the Lord. He confesses his feeling of abandonment, “why have you forsaken me?” and yet immediately turns to remember the nature of God on display in the faithful deliverance of His people in times past. Later again he expresses his desperation and then turns to remember God’s hand upon him in earlier days, reminding himself of the faithfulness and goodness of God to those who belong to Him and call upon Him.
This teaches us something about the Psalms. Jesus used this Psalm not because it was really about him and only him, but because it was a prayer that fit his situation and he had learned to pray through the Psalms. This is how we too are invited to use the Psalms and thus learn to pray the Psalms. They teach us how to pray through our own emotions and experiences.