Songs for the Road: The Psalms of Ascent: Day 3

The Structure of a Worshiping Life

by

Today's Text: Psalm 122:1-9

Scripture Reading: Psalm 122

The Christian life is a climb—a journey of constant growth, sacrifice, and trusting God for what we cannot see. As Eugene Peterson said, we are pilgrims, but we are also disciples—always moving and always learning. The Psalms of Ascent (Psalms 120-134) were sung by worshipers as they made the journey up to Jerusalem for the annual feasts. In this 3-week reading plan, we are digging into these traveling songs with the help of short summary essays and thoughtful, reflective questions for each psalm. Take your pack on your shoulder and walk with us as we pursue God together.

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Psalm 122 (CSB)
A PRAYER FOR JERUSALEM
A song of ascents. Of David.

1 I rejoiced with those who said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the LORD.”
2 Our feet were standing
within your gates, Jerusalem —

3 Jerusalem, built as a city should be,
solidly united,
4 where the tribes, the LORD’s tribes, go up
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
(This is an ordinance for Israel.)
5 There, thrones for judgment are placed,
thrones of the house of David.

6 Pray for the well-being of Jerusalem:
“May those who love you be secure;
7 may there be peace within your walls,
security within your fortresses.”
8 Because of my brothers and friends,
I will say, “May peace be in you.”
9 Because of the house of the LORD our God,
I will pursue your prosperity.

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An Arriving Song
The pilgrim-disciple enters Jerusalem and blesses the Lord for the city’s beauty and for the sense that she belongs there.

This is a song about moving toward the love of God in worship, which speaks to the core truth in all of us that we are made for worship. But the focus here is not on personal worship only. This song celebrates the beauty of the rhythm of worshiping God alongside others in an ongoing way.

Reflect
1. We are all worshipers. What do you worship? To what do you give your time? In what do you place your hope?

2. This psalm calls people to worship together. What is the value of gathering with other people to worship God together? What do we gain by worshiping with others that we would not have on our own?

3. Scripture calls us to steady, regular worship—to return to the same places and meditate on the same truths over and over. What is the value of doing this?

SRT-POA-Instagram-Day3s

  • While we worship in church as a group, is it the atmosphere of others worship that makes it better or is there another reason why it’s good to worship as a church instead of on our own

  • I have not always went to a church to worship feeling I knew I have the lord in my heart. After reading this and some of the other comments it reminds me that as one I am strong but with others I have strength. It reminds me of synergy where together our call to worship multiples within our congregation.

  • Love reading everyone’s comments and get other perspectives to each question.

  • I think there is a refreshing that comes from corporate worship. God’s Holy Spirit is always within us, but something about being with others in worship amplifies that. Like the difference between dozens of candles shining in the darkness verses one candle all alone. I am so thankful for my church family that have accepted me and pulled me in. Hanging out with them while worshipping God is definitely the best part of my week!

  • Jennifer Vaughn-Estrada

    “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!'” At least 25 years ago, my mother made up a children’s song using this passage, so it’s always held a special significance for me. Can I ever again recapture that childlike excitement about going to church?

  • I’m a first time participant of SRT so I apologize for my late comments. Church has always been a place where I feel comforted and safe. I’m very involved in my Church and I know many people but some I don’t know as well. It definitely helps to build a relationship with those you worship with. I am currently going through a rough tIme in my life and so many people at my Church have called me and try to comfort me with kind words and hugs every time I see them. It makes going to worship so much easier knowing that at my weakest moment I have God and my Church family to lean on.

  • I struggle with this. I think I can watch the sermon at home because I don’t really speak to anyone at church anyway, other than a hello here there I know no one. My mind knows what the Bible says about this but my heart just says it doesn’t really matter because I don’t know anyone just to stand next to strangers and worship. I guess I know I need a small group to get into so I can get to know people at the church.

    • Kayla Marnach

      Getting involved makes all the difference in the world! We just changed churches after being at the same one for twenty-two years because my husband just didn’t feel he was being fed. I was fine because I was TOTALLY involved and an important part of our small church activities. But I didn’t want to go to a different church than him, so…with many tears I went with him to a LARGE church. There was one woman I saw regularly and I determined she was going to be my friend. After a year and half, she and many others are our friends. And it’s because we became involved. Be open to who the Lord puts in your path. I know He put that one lady in my path and He will do the same for you. You are the daughter of the King.

      • Kimberly

        I will. Thank you. I am going to reach out and ask one of those people he put in my path to coffee. That is oh so scary to do, but I know you are right. I moved to a new state recently and I don’t know anyone. I need to be brave and reach out. Thank you for encouraging me!

    • Amanda

      My husband and I relocated to Asheville, NC just under a year ago. It took a few months before we found a church we felt led to. It, like Kayla’s, was a large church (which isn’t what we were looking for), but we felt God leading us there and it was so refreshing to see my husband reach out to people to find out about small groups for young couples! It seems like usually I am the one to take initiative when it comes to church/church involvement, but I guess God was really tugging at him. Anyway, we were connected with a small group and they have been great friends to us since (we knew like 2 people when we moved here, and they didn’t go to church). The different friendships we’ve formed out of that small group have really helped us to feel like a part of the bigger crowd at church, and it’s been helpful to have Christian friends to go through life with.

    • laurin

      girl! I can totally relate. when my husband and little ones moved to MN about four years ago, we only knew my husband’s family. we stared going to river valley church and it immediately felt like home. after getting settled into life after the move, we longed for friendship, we longed for our kids to have other kids to play with.. but that mean putting ourselves out there. it’s scary and the devil will do everything he can to continue to keep you in your house and watching your church service there. he knows that that moment you take that step of faith out of your home and set foot into your church walls or small group that he has lost this battle and many others because God wants to use you in a real and awesome way! God has been bringing the words, “risk to be known” to me this past week. I think they’re for you too, friend. I’m still trying to fully understand what this means but I do know that I have to let go of the fear that’s holding me back.. the fear of being known and using the voice God has placed inside of me. I am praying for you, kimberly and encourage you to risk to be known even this week.

  • I know so many Christians who view regular church attendance as something they can forgo if their schedule is too full. This saddens me, because it makes it clear that we have missed the point of regular gatherings to worship. Though there will always be obstacles to overcome, seeking to draw close to God with a group of fellow believers on a consistent basis will never be time ill spent. Provided we are seeking Him with an open heart and receiving His truth when we do. We need this church. We are not meant to pursue God alone.

  • Going to the same place of worship we start to feel at home. Mediating on the same truths, they become deep rooted and we begin to live them out. Gods word works in a mighty way!

  • Kasey Summers

    Love this!!

  • I love number 3. coming to God’s house every week to worship, reading his word every day- even the same passages. These things change us and inspire us. reinvigorate us each and every day Lord. so grateful for God’s spirit at work in me

    • Allison

      Number 3 was my favorite question also! I think diving into God’s word every day and reading these scriptures over and over can be a great tool used to defeat Satan. He is constantly on the prowl, trying to fill our minds with crazy ideas. If we really know God’s word, it’s easier to cast these crazy ideas aside because we know the truth!

      • Kierstyn

        I was really struggling with number 3 because to be honest I didn’t know the “right” answer. But it really ties into the question from the other day “is it difficult to discern lies from truth” often times for me it is hard to separate the lies of the devil from every day things. By meditating on Gods truths over and over again it will be easier to identify what is Satan speaking and what is truth

        • Heidi

          Kierstyn, I was totally feeling the same way. Blessed me to read your response. That’s totally true! It does! Thank you for your honesty and insight!

  • Rachel Duchesneau

    The Bible says that we should not give up meeting together, but that we should encourage one another. Being in a community of believers gives us encouragement in our own journey. It also helps us to grow in holiness, as we push each other towards Jesus and away from sin.

  • Allison Joy

    Worshiping together with other believers brings a sense of unity and support. I have had the opportunity to attend the Urbana Missions Conference, hosted by InterVaristy, multiple times, both as a participant and a volunteer. Some of my favorite memories are singing “In Christ Alone” and “Good, Good Father” with 15,000+ believers. It is just an amazing experience. We also sang in multiple languages, sometimes all at once! One of the years we did the chorus to “Revelation Song” in four languages at once. It’s a little taste of heaven!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukM5diiS2pM

  • Today’s devotion got me thinking about what worship actually means and what it should look like in our hearts and our lives each day. I found this article from Christianity Today called “What is True Worship?” and thought it was worth sharing:
    http://www.christianitytoday.com/biblestudies/bible-answers/spirituallife/what-is-true-worship.html

    I think it ties in well with the first question and really helped me to examine my own heart. Hoping that it will be helpful for others too!

    • Corrie

      Thank you for sharing this article, Kristi. It was definitely something that made me step back and examine my heart too!

      • Carla

        Kristi, I too enjoyed the article you referenced. Love the definition of worship given: Worship is to honor with extravagant love and extreme submission (Webster’s Dictionary,1828). Thanks for taking the time to share it.

  • The aspect of traveling the journey together with all the generations is a beautiful part of God’s plan. I learned much about worship watching my parents. Then the opportunity came for me to do that for my child. We observe, then we participate , next we teach/model and in every step along the way we grow more into His likeness.

    • Emily B.

      I love thinking about worship as a legacy passed from parent to child/children. Thanks for sharing this perspective today!

  • Melody Suarez

    To answer number 2, I feel like the times that I can feel the Lords presence the most is when I’m worshiping with my church family. I feel like it’s a little taste of what heaven will be like when we all are worshiping together the One and Only true God. I find that when I see others worship, I am encouraged and in awe at how much they love God and it makes me hunger for Him even more.

  • I really love the words used during the Communion Service,,,,,though we are many we are one body because we all partake of the one bread….worshipping together around the one table is so important to me

  • carol good

    It has taken me long time to get out of the” what is in it for me mode”.I am just beginning to understand worship to our lord as it should be. I am excited to go to church now and learn and worship.I feel so grateful to our God and blessed that we are allowed to worship him in this country freely.

    • Carrie Warner

      I too have went to church for the wrong reasons wondering what’s in it for me . now that I go to worship God and serve and love on others I cant wait to go every Sunday! I am very thankful to be able worship God and read my bible freely. We are very Blessed !

  • Diane Huntsman

    I think our culture has made us a self serving bunch at times, I mean I’ve been guilty of going to church with the mentality “what’s in this for me” who’s going to come talk to ME, how is the pastor going to deliver the message to minister to ME, is the worship team going to sing MY favorite songs.. in reality my heart needs to be fixated on HIM worshipping Him not only in singing but in serving.. serving those around me, looking to the needs that others have.. the church is under attack and not just by the “world” the unbelieving folks.. it’s under attack by believers who have confused the true purpose of the church.. a place of worship.. a place of encouragement and prayer.. a place where we can let down our walls of protection and learn to love and be loved.. may the church become a house of worship by a people eager to encounter Him and love one another.. Jesus said the world would know we were His disciples by our love for one another.. it starts at church.. loving on people and serving them.. wasn’t that the essence of who Jesus was when He walked this earth? A faithful loving servant always preoccupied with pleasing the Father and adoring the people..
    Hugs sisters! Xo

    • Kimone

      Come on now! Your words are entirely true. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. May we become a church fixated on Him, worshipping and loving each other. Blessings to you dear. May we with one mind and mouth glorify Him who is ever deserving!

    • Genesis M

      Yes! yes! yes!

    • Emily B.

      So true! As my husband and I were looking for a new church, I found myself having to pray to have a good attitude and not focus on what I wanted to get out of each different church. It was definitely eye-opening!

    • Betsy P.

      Diane, thank you for this! I am ashamed to admit how often I walk into a worship service thinking about what I am going to get out of it. In reality, worship isn’t about me at all–it is about expressing our adoration of God. And you’re right–worship occurs in many different forms, none of which are focused on “me.” Thank you for the reminder!

  • Keri McCue

    “The pilgrim-disciple enters Jerusalem and blesses the Lord for the city’s beauty and for the sense that she belongs there.” This reminds me so much of my home church. I love that when I walk in I feel at home. I think one thing I tend to worship is my marriage. I tend to be so focused on him and I that it can sometimes take away time for my Father. It’s about being intentional with your time and heart so that we are focused on the correct thing, Christ.

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  • I’ve been reading the SRT studies for a long time now, but never post a comment. I pre-ordered the Bible and I must say I love it! I look up the verses for the day and open my bible, I mark it up while reading! It really has changed my quiet time! Thank you for this community and the ladies at SRT! So thankful!!

    • She Reads Truth

      Thank you for sharing, Laci! So encouraged by you today!

      – Stormye

  • I’m really enjoying worshiping as a group which is New to me I’ve always been one to worship God on my own love this thank you

  • I don’t know about you but my quiet time with God is like that of a little girl with her father. He not only teaches me but guides me and fills me with an overwhelming sense of peace and unconditional love. I’m reminded that if I’m ever in danger, He’ll be there with a shield of steel and He’ll make those monsters under my bed disappear. He crowns me as His princess that will never lose her throne. I cherish our quiet time together that allows me to be reminded of His powerful love for me ❤️

    • Sharon

      This is so beautiful! Having a father who was awful to his daughters…he had 6 girls, it has been difficult to see God as a loving father who cares, loves and protects. I’m only now after many years of pain beginning to see Him as my beautiful,wonderful and loving Papa!

      • Katalina

        I’m so happy you’ve been able to feel God’s love for you, because although it may have not been that way on Earth, you have an everlasting and ever present Father in Heaven ❤️

    • Emily B.

      I love this image! How awesome it is to be cherished by our Father!

  • Maria Baer

    Today’s devotion is very special to me because for the longest time I believed that I did not need a church community and I worshipped on my own. Which is good but there is a different level of connection and emotion that comes with worshipping as a group. I always get goosebumps in church during worship because I think “we are here for ONE GOD, to thank Him and show Him our love”. Worship as a community always prepares me to receive the Word in a more intimate way.

  • Maria Baer

    I just wanted to stop by and thank everyone who left me messages two days ago when I wrote that I feel like I want to leave my marriage of two years especially because stepmotherhood has made it so difficult. Your thoughts and comments were so appreciated and made me cry because sometimes it can feel like a lonely road. I think it’s frustrating to me because when I chose to marry my husband was after much prayers and it truly felt this is where God wanted me to be– to be his wife and full time stepmom to his children. I felt so strongly that I left behind a successful career, my home– everything to marry him. But lately I’ve been wondering why he wanted me here because I sometimes feel miserable. Anyhow, please know that you made me feel like I am not alone. I’d hug you if you were in front of me. Thank you sisters.

    • Anne

      We,too, believed we were being obedient–to the call to adopt internationally. But after many years, tears, and $ it has wrecked our home and family Many have been physically hurt and emotionally damaged. These things are hard to reconcile, and we are filled with grief and anguish. Still trying to cling to faith.

      • Pam

        Will put you both on my prayer list. I believe when we give to others sacrificially – following Jesus’s example of how He loved us- we bear fruit and our prayers are answered.(John 15:1-17) Keep giving yourself, time, resources, and love to these children and keep praying. The Lord loves children and He is using you to love them. I believe He will bless you for it.

      • SB

        Prayers Anne!

      • Julia

        I just glanced down at my Bible and read Psalm 126:5-6. Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! I don’t understand why these things are happening in your lives, but I know we can cling to the promises of God in His Word. Praying for your encouragement.

  • Hey all, prayers appreciated…I don’t have my license yet and I feel like something always comes up where I can’t get in driving hours. Since I can’t drive, I have to rush in the mornings for my mom to take me before she goes to work, but if not I have to take the bus :/ Just wish I could drive so that I don’t have to rush…please pray that I can also prioritize my quiet time and that I can move efficiently in the morning so that I don’t rush my Bible reading time…which makes it feel like I didn’t soak in everything. Just something I need to work on I guess! Thank you all!

    • Sarah D.

      Also pushing off getting my license is kind of prolonging driving…I’m still at the stage where I get nervous about driving…I guess I just need to keep giving everything to Jesus!! Oh the little things that Satan tries to get me with….

      • SB

        Sarah D. Try not to get frustrated when getting your drivers license isn’t working out! Sometimes it’s just God delaying for a reason! So keep trusting Him to ease your heart and mind, things will fall into place when you let go and let God! Praying for you!

      • Mari

        Praying for you Sarah. As a mother I can relate for some reason things keep getting delayed for my son too.

    • amylou

      Praying for you!

      • carrie Warner

        praying for you. I too am trying to allow a little time for non rushed bible reading in the morning so I can spend the time it deserves. May God Bless you as you Get your license and spend time with him. thanks for sharing

  • My Morning Song

    As much as I so cherish my private, sacred time with the Lord, I think that something happens when we worship in numbers that can’t be experienced on our own. I think the angels sing along and it’s like a small taste of what I imagine heaven will be like someday. All the saints singing praise to the king of kings, such a powerful image! I think heaven touches earth for a moment and if our hearts are fully engaged in worship, we can taste the goodness of things to come.

  • Debbie Gartland

    yes. steady truth in the rythyms of worship.

  • Kristine L

    The idea of meditating on the same truths over and over… I had this picture of a stone being carved. The first pass with the tool makes a scratch, hardly a dent. The next pass leaves a line. Another pass with the tool carves the line a little deeper. Over and over the stone cutter has to work on the same line before the vague impression becomes the design it was meant to have. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel as dense as a rock and it takes quite a few tries before the Word sinks in! Continue carving away, my sisters!

  • churchmouse

    Worship continually reminds me that life isn’t about me. When I worship privately, it is me communing intimately with my Savior Friend. When I worship corporately, it is me in faith community, acknowledging that I am not alone on the journey. I look forward to the day when all the She’s gather around the throne in heaven to worship in person together the One we love.

    • Emily B.

      I wrote down something similar today. It’s so nice to know that we’re not alone and can worship the same God with people who believe in the same Truth. Thanks for sharing!

    • Kellie

      Completely agree! Can’t wait to meet all these She’s in heaven someday

  • Carole Price

    Beautiful post Tina. Thank you for sharing. X

  • In the days leading up to her being called home, my daughter gave her life to Jesus.. . Something I now cherish and hold very dear, the knowledge that when I too am called home, we will be together in Eternity.
    In the early days, if I were honest, I did not understand my brothers insistence for her to give her life to Jesus, because my understanding, then, was that I had had her christened as a baby, and so therefore she would be going to heaven when called home. My brother explained to her, that when she was a baby my gift and promise to God was her christening and that I would bring her up as a believer. But now she was old enough, she could make a gift and promise of her own to Jesus.. He spent hours and days reading the bible and praying with and over her.. she gave her life to Jesus a week before she was called home…
    I tell you this because these words from Psalm 122 are again one of my favourites and are etched in gold ink on her headstone..

    I was glad when you said to me..”Let us go to the house of the Lord.”

    Her feet I know for sure, are standing within the gates, and I give thanks to the Lord God for that knowledge.

    I love the heading An arriving song.. and the words that go with it…
    Words like… sense that she belongs there… moving toward the love of God in worship.. .
    God has her in His keeping now, and she worships with other saints called home…
    Thank you Lord God. Thank you. Amen.

    Thank you Sisters for our journey together in cyberspace… our worship of the one true God. It absolutely is an honour to share and worship with you…

    May peace be with you my Sisters…with love. Xxxxx

  • Jen Gladwell

    Really struck by two things from today’s reflect questions:
    1) there is such a lot to gain from joining with and worshipping with others. That sense of community and fellowship. And then also the mutual encouragement of sharing testimony in our lives…
    2) that there is value in returning again and again to His steady truths. Not rushing to the next new thing but grounding ourselves firmly in His truth.
    Thanks SRT team! Looking forward to discussing this at the end of the week with my new prayer partner :)

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