Prepare to Worship

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Psalms 120-131

Psalms 120-134 are called the “Songs of Ascent,” and were probably sung by people who traveled a distance to worship in the temple at the annual feasts. Psalm 120 is the cry of one who is in distress still in a distant land. The traveler was sometimes in danger, so Psalm 121 is a confession of faith in God as One who keeps His people in safety.

In Psalm 122 Jerusalem has come into sight, and the call is to pray for the peace of that city. May there be peace in the Middle East, but even more importantly, may there be peace in the church, which is Jerusalem for the Christian. Let us pray and work for harmony in our congregation.

Psalm 123 looks beyond Jerusalem to heaven, which is the true dwelling place of God, and beyond that to God Himself. Looking to God, we pray for His mercy. Psalm 124 considers that God’s people would have been destroyed were it not for that mercy. As the pilgrim on the way to worship considers the scene around him, in which the mountains speak to him of stability, so he trusts in the ever dependable God (Psalm 125). Continuing to focus his thoughts on Mount Zion, the author of Psalm 126 considers how God has protected it in the past and prays for similar help in his own time. The rest of the psalms in today’s reading express hope in God.

PRAYER

Father, help us to be filled with thoughtfulness and song as we prepare to worship You. Through Christ. Amen.