Week 3 // Descriptive Psalms

Week 3 // Descriptive Psalms

Read: Psalm 33

The Descriptive Psalms praise God for who He is. He is a loving God, rich in mercy. He is the Creator and all the world displays his majesty. He is worthy of praise. His very nature is worth our singing, our worship and our sacrifice. He is our God. 


Can God be trusted? Yes. A resounding “yes” says the Psalmist. A “yes” that leads the heart of Israel to burst with song. 

God is faithful over all creation, God is faithful in dealing with the nations, and God is forever faithful in covenant relationship with Israel. The one who contained the chaotic waters in the beginning (Gen. 1:2, Ps. 33:7) is the one who contains the rebellious plans of the nations (Ps. 33:10). We know God is trustworthy.  For the word of the Lord is upright” says the Psalmist, and “the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord” (Ps. 33:4–5). 

Everything God does is an outpouring of his steadfast and faithful love. A love that made a good world and commissioned a divine-image-bearing people to care for that world and experience deep communion with their Creator. A love that triumphs over powers and forces of darkness. A love that became human to show in a physical and powerful way who the Creator really is once and for all. 

God’s powerful and unceasing love for his people is one of his most defining characteristics. It extends beyond human comprehension. It defies logic. His love created the world and everything in it. His love rescues us from sin. His love for us is so absolute that we might trust in it, when everything else seems to fall apart. 


Discussion Questions

  • How would you describe God? What characteristics do you see on display in your life right now?
  • How do you describe God as evidenced by the lives of those in your Missional Community? 
  • What is a defining characteristic of God that is hard for you to embrace or comprehend? What is it that keeps you at a distance?

Pray the Psalms

Read and pray through the Psalms this week. As you pray, reflect on the refrain for each Psalm written below. Conclude each Psalm with “Glory to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.”

  • Psalm 33 – The earth is full of the Lord’s lovingkindness.
  • Psalm 119:1-24 – Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes.
  • Psalm 10 – You, Lord, have never failed those who seek you.
  • Psalm 12 – You, O Lord, will watch over us.
  • Psalm 18 – The Lord shall make my darkness to be light.
  • Psalm 22 – Be not far from me, O Lord.
  • Psalm 107 – Let us give thanks to the Lord for his goodness.
Lift My Eyes

Lift My Eyes

Lift My Eyes

by The Park Worship Community | Psalms

Lift My Eyes
( Psalm 121 & 130)

by Peter Pham & Aaron Villarreal

VERSE 1
In the wilderness
You are my keeper
When I cannot see
You lead the way
You watch over me
You will not slumber
You are my keeper

VERSE 2
In the battle
You’re my protector
When my hands are heavy
You raise them up
You steady my feet
You go before me
You’re my protector

CHORUS
I lift my eyes up
To see that my help comes
From You, my God
From You, my God
More than the watchmen
Wait for the morning
I lift my eyes to You, my God

VERSE 3
In the valley
You are my helper
When my fears are many
You are my peace
You cast out fear
You quiet my soul
You are my helper

BRIDGE
I Lift my eyes up
My God will help
He won’t stand still

VERSE 4
In this broken world
You’re my redeemer
In my broken heart
You are my hope
You cast out death
You came to bring life
You’re my redeemer
You’re my redeemer

Week 2 // Pilgrim Psalms

Week 2 // Pilgrim Psalms

Read: Psalm 121 & 130

The Pilgrim Psalms, or the Psalms of Ascent, document the desire of God’s people to be in Jerusalem and to be near the temple where God dwelt in the Holy of Holies. They were are believed to have been sung during pilgrimage feasts, during the rebuilding of the temple, or during Babylonian captivity, when God’s people were desperate for his presence.


Imagine David, the warrior-king, sitting in the wilderness, making his way back to Jerusalem. The night casts a shadow over everything. As the wind blows, he scans the darkness. He knows the enemies surround him. His hand rests on his sword, even though he is too tired and too sore to lift it. If only the day would illuminate what I cannot see. If only light would cast out my fears. Broken, bruised, bloodied. David, full of fear, begins to write a song.

“I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait,
And in His word do I hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
More than the watchmen for the morning;
Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.”

Picture the Israelite people making their pilgrimage to Jerusalem to worship Yahweh. Much like their parents and grandparents before them, they are walking through the wilderness to the land that God had promised. The journey is difficult. The entire family is exhausted. The sun beats down on their skin. They thirst in a way they never knew possible. They can see the city on the hill in the distance. Though the journey is long, they trust God will sustain them in their pursuit of worship.

“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.”

Now imagine your life. What journey has the Lord placed before you. Are you in battle, fighting your way back to the place where God dwells? Are you bruised and bloodied? Can you lift your hands?

Do you feel like you are in the wilderness, just trying to draw near to God? Are you thirsty and famished? Are you tired and weary? Can you lift your eyes?

See that your help comes from the Lord. We will wait for him, expectantly. More than the watchmen wait for the morning.


Discussion Questions

  • In the last year, have you found yourself in the wilderness? Are you bruised and bloodied? Have you felt exhausted on the journey the Lord has placed before you?
  • How have you felt the Lord telling you to lift your eyes up to him? Have you felt him saying that recently?
  • What makes it difficult for us to have hope in God’s help?
  • How can you remind your Missional Community of the hope we have in the Lord’s presence? How can they remind you?

Pray the Psalms

Read and pray through the Psalms this week. As you pray, reflect on the refrain for each Psalm written below. Conclude each Psalm with “Glory to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.”

  • Psalm 121 – The Lord shall keep you from all evil.
  • Psalm 24 – The Lord of hosts; he is the King of glory.
  • Psalm 62 – Wait on God alone in stillness, O my soul.
  • Psalm 130 – My soul waits for the Lord.
  • Psalm 71 – O God, be not far from me.
  • Psalm 69 – Hide not your face from your servant.
  • Psalm 23 – I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Open My Heart

Open My Heart

by The Park Worship Community | Psalms

Open My Heart ( Psalm 46 & 84)

by John McDonald & Davis Staedtler

Verse 1

Held by your mercy
Safe in your hands
A refuge in trouble
Fearless I stand

Verse 2

No longer a journey
To reach you, My King
Your Spirit makes possible Everything

Chorus

Open my heart
Open my heart
To knowing you God
Knowing you God

Open my heart
Open my heart
To knowing you God
Knowing you God

Bridge

Lord I stand
In your house to praise
You’re my sun and shield

My soul longs
For your house O God
Here my heart is healed

Week 1 // Zion Psalms

Week 1 // Zion Psalms

Read: Psalms 46

The Zion Psalms are written to praise God for establishing his people and his kingdom. They are a mix of history, culture, tradition and loyalty. They are dedicated to extolling the city of God. No other place on earth warrants this praise, according to the poets. 

The Zion Psalms speak highly of Jerusalem because it was the home of the temple, Yahweh’s dwelling place. Since the presence of the Lord was in Jerusalem, it seemed fitting to write songs of adulation and to pray for its peace and its safety. 

Psalm 46 teaches us something about control of our life. Moment by moment, we have to decide who we are going to let be in control of our thoughts, decisions and actions – God or ourselves.

The choice can be stressful. It seems simple and often times appropriate to control that which is at the forefront of our lives. So how do we do it? How do we give our cares and concerns over to a God so much bigger than everything? 

Control is an illusion.

“Be still, and know that I am God.

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth!”

                                                              — Psalm 46:10

We can’t predict what we’re going to face this week. Something we know for sure is that God wants us leg to and know that He is in control. The harder things get around us, the more we try to control. This conflict we have with God is because we’re trying to control things only He can.

To help yourself give up control of your life, turn to Psalm 84 and sit in the peace of God’s presence, while seeking Him continually.

Then, read Psalm 122. Let the scripture reveal to you the unexplainable power of security and safety we have when we abide in God at a place of surrender of control over our lives.


Discussion Questions

  • How are you asking the Lord to open your heart this summer? Is there something you’re holding onto that he is asking you to give up? 
  • Where do you find yourself fighting God for control of your life? 
  • What makes us God’s people? How can your Missional Community remind you of that truth? How can you remind them?

Pray the Psalms

Read and pray through the Psalms this week. As you pray, reflect on the refrain for each Psalm written below. Conclude each Psalm with “Glory to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.”

  • Psalm 46 – The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold
  • Psalm 63 – My soul is athirst for god, even for the living God. 
  • Psalm 103 – The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
  • Psalm 84 – Blessed are they who dwell in your house, Lord. 
  • Psalm 8 – O Lord, how glorious your name is in all the world!
  • Psalm 51 – The sacrifice of god is a broken spirit.
  • Psalm 139 – Search me out, O God, and know my heart.  
Psalms Intro

Psalms Intro

The Psalms were composed for Jewish liturgical use and have formed the basis for Christian prayer and worship. Christian communities throughout history have prescribed different cycles to read and pray through the Psalms. This guide is partially based on the 7 week cycle found in the Episcopal Church’s Book of Common Prayer.

When we pray the Psalms we are being formed by the same prayers Jesus was, and we join our voices and hearts with others around the world and throughout history.

Our Creative Arts Team in both parishes have been working together over the last six months to craft original worship songs that we can sing as a church together, and we are so excited to share them with you. These songs were inspired by our study in the book of Psalms, which we will be walking through as a church for the next six weeks.