The Glory of Our God

The Glory of Our God

by The Park Worship Community | Psalms

Open My Heart ( Psalm 46 & 84)
by Lindsey & Justin Frey

VERSE 1:
Everything inside of me says thank you
For Your love and faithfulness I thank you
With hands held high and hearts bowed low before You
We thank You, thank you

VERSE 2:
The moment I all out to You, You answer me
You listen even though You know everything
You make me brave and give me all the strength I need
oh thank You, we thank You

VERSE 3:
All of heaven listens as we worship You
the kingdoms of the earth will rise and sing to You
For no one can stay silent when they hear of You
and all the things You’ve done we thank You

CHORUS:
Holy is Your name
Holy is Your word
How great the glory of our God
Seated high above
Yes still You come in close to us
How great the glory of our God

BRIDGE:
Finish what You started in me
Your love lasts forever
So don’t give up on me

Week 5 // Declarative

The Declarative Psalms or Psalms of Thanksgiving speak to the gifts the Lord has given his people. There is an equal distinction between the self, a gift and the Giver. They declare God’s gifts to the world, to those who do not know the character of God. It is worth noting that the linguistic origin of the words “think” and “thank” are closely related. Thinking on God’s gifts leads to a thankful spirit.

“Praising God is work which the greatest of men need not be ashamed of; it is the work of angels,
the work of heaven.”
– Matthew Henry

My father-in-law is the size of a grizzly bear. He towers above most. One thing I love and am always moved by is when I see him in church during worship. He’s the guy towards the back with the really nice suit & tie, hands stretched towards heaven, and, if you look close, I bet you’ll see tears on his cheeks, tracing the outlines of his huge smile.

I’m moved by his worship and humility because this vulnerability is a part of true gratitude. Since we had the words “You will be like God” whispered into our hearts in the Garden, we struggle with elevating ourselves to the level of God, or trying to pull Him down to our level, so we can deal with Him as equals. So often we say either, “I’ve got it” or “I can take it from here.”

Notice how David starts though, “I will give You thanks with all my heart…” He starts with humility and gratitude. But, he doesn’t just put his pen down and close the book there, “Done. Grateful. Check.” Fueled by gratitude, David sings praises to God, he physically bows and humbles himself in worship declaring God’s magnificence. True gratitude is displayed in humility and produces worship.

As Tim Keller puts it, “The gospel is this: we are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.” My father-in-law gets it. A heart filled with this truth can’t merely stand there in indifference; hands-in-pocket. It gives itself fully, deeply. It sings. It surrenders. It humbles itself. It displays. It declares.

This is contagious! All the declaring David is doing will one day spread, “all the kings of the earth will rise to give you thanks… they too will sing (vs. 4 & 5 TPT).” Notice it isn’t immediate, “One day all…”. How does this effect us when we worship? What are we declaring to those around us? Are they hearing the living words that God has spoken to you so that “one day” they too will sing those living words?

David calls out to God and is answered the very moment he calls. God’s response isn’t always what we would expect.

We’re used to saying something to someone and they respond in turn by saying something back, “Marco”…“Polo.” We think because God doesn’t say, “Polo” back to us, that He isn’t there or He’s ignoring us. Here we see in vs. 3 & 4 that God answers with exactly what David needed. David didn’t need God to speak. What he really needed was something spiritual. “You strengthened me deep within my soul and breathed fresh courage into me.” God gives us either what we prayed for or what we would’ve prayed for if we knew what He knew.

David ends this Psalm with just as much humility as he started with. He writes, “You keep every promise you’ve ever made to me! Since Your love for me is constant and endless, I ask You, Lord, to finish every good thing that you’ve begun in me! (TPT)”. In other words, “not my will, but Yours be done in my life.”


Discussion Questions

  • When did you feel like God gave you what you needed and not what you prayed for? How did that shape the way you pray?
  • What is something you need the Lord to touch, to heal, to fix that you are not praying over? Offer that up to your Missional Community.

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 138 – Your lovingkindness, O Lord, endures forever.
  • Psalm 77 – In the day of my trouble, I have sought the
  • Psalm 78 – O Lord, how glorious are your works.
  • Psalm 119: 97-120 – Give me life according to your word, O Lord.
  • Psalm 34 – O taste and see that the Lord is gracious.
  • Psalm 91 – Keep me as the apple of your eye.
  • Psalm 136 – God’s mercy endures forever.
Steadfast Love

Steadfast Love

Steadfast Love

by The Park Worship Community | Psalms

Steadfast Love ( Psalm 89)

by David Hernandez & Kyle Isenhower

Verse 1
You rule the raging seas
And still the rising waves
The praises of your wonder
Displayed for all to see

Chorus
Your steadfast love
It never leaves us
Your faithfulness
Stands forever

Verse 2
The covenant you made
Your king upon the throne
Displays your righteousness
And forever shall endure

Verse 3
We wander from your ways
Your law we have forsaken
Your mercies still remain
Your promises unbroken

Bridge
Faithfulness surrounds You
Justice is Your throne
In Your name we are rejoicing
Our glory and our strength

Week 5 // Messianic

Week 5 // Messianic

Read: Psalm 89

Ethan the Ezrahite is mentioned only a couple of times in Hebrew scriptures. He was a man wise man, but not quite as wise as King Solomon, who “was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite” (1 Kings 4:31). He also served as one of the leaders of temple music and was known as both a singer and a cymbal player. Psalm 89:1-37 was written by Ethan for use in worship services and was no doubt sung and known by many. So we see a song that was originally sung as a pronouncement of God’s steadfast love and faithfulness. God had promised to David that his throne would be “established forever” and that this would likewise signify that the nation of Israel would stand forever (2 Samuel 7). God had promised good things continually for his people, and he would not break his promise.

But then the Babylonian captivity came about. God’s people broke their end of the covenant by worshiping other gods, trusting in their own power and plans, and neglecting to worship Him. Part of the covenant to David was that “when he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men,” and this is what happens through the armies of Babylon. Psalm 89:38-48 mourns the loss, humiliation, and shame. The walls of Jerusalem are in ruins, they have been plundered, scorned, and carried away from their homeland. There is no longer a king from the line of David on the throne.

The Psalm closes in verses 49-52 asking for the Lord to remember his steadfast love that he swore to David. This doesn’t even seem possible at this point. We know the rest of the story, though. It is true that there never was another son of David on the throne in Jerusalem again. But the promised Messiah came and fulfilled God’s promise, even when his people failed to uphold their end. There is a sense of longing and hope in the close of this Psalm, especially one that ends with “blessed be the Lord forever!” We can trust in God’s steadfast and faithfulness to stay with us, even when we fail. Jesus has become the fulfillment of this promise to us. When we feel lost or estranged from the love of God, it is reassuring to know that he has promised to always love us and that we can stand sure that he keeps his promises.


Discussion Questions

  • Have you ever felt “far away” from God and His love?
  • Have you seen examples of God’s faithfulness to you? How has he stayed faithful regardless of your actions?
  • Spend some time in your Missional Community following the pattern of this Psalm. First, begin with speaking the wonders of what God has done in the world and in your lives. Then declare together that God is faithful. Then confess to one another the times you have felt far way, distant, or lost from God’s promises. Finally, reassure one another that he is faithful and that he will be faithful.

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 89 – Truly the Lord is our shield.
  • Psalm 118 – I will give thanks to you, God, for you are my salvation.
  • Psalm 126 – The Lord indeed has done great things for us.
  • Psalm 72 – The Lord is king; let the earth rejoice. 
  • Psalm 134 – Bless the Lord, O my soul.
  • Psalm 140 – Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked. 
  • Psalm 104 – I will sing to the Lord as long as I live. 

 

My God Covers Me

My God Covers Me

My God Will Cover me

by The Park Worship Community | Psalms

My God Covers Me (Psalm 3 & 6)

by Lindsey & Justin Frey

Verse 1
Everything I thought would keep me safe
Or make me great, is gone
They’re looking at me saying I’m a fool
Beyond rescue, hopeless

Chorus
But I know, in my heart, I have a Father
In my fear and shame, He comes to me
As enemies are standing all around me
The glory of the Lord stand in between
My God covers me

Verse 2
You break the power of the words
Meant to harm me, I’m free
Now I will lie down and rest in peace
I’m not afraid, because You’re with me

Bridge
I can look fear in the eye
I can sleep all through the night
Your presence is my peace
This will not stay rest from me

I cry out “Rise up O God”
My rescuer, my King
My God is victory
My God will cover me

Week 4 // Lament

Week 4 // Lament

Read: Psalm 6

The Lament Psalms teach us how to bring our pains, our fears and our troubles to the Lord. In even the worst circumstances, we can cry out to the Lord. The Psalms of Lament teach us that God listens to our cries. Sometimes pain comes from an external source; sometimes it is the consequence of our sin. No matter what, God is good and hears our prayers. 


Can you imagine not only fleeing for your life, but fearing that you are being hunted down by your own son? 

The subtitle of Psalm 3, tells us that when David wrote this, he was most likely on the run from his own son Absalom. There must have been such of a sea of emotions and fears during this time of his life. What is so endearing about David, is that he gives us such an honest glimpse into the human soul. Almighty king of Israel, chosen one of God, yet surrounded by enemies and in fear for his own life. His peers were saying there was no hope for him, and calling him a fool. But David, even amidst his darkest hour, reminds himself of what he knows is true of God.

He is confident that though he is literally surrounded by those who wish to harm him, he can sleep in peace because the Lord is his shield. The Passion Translation puts verse 3 like this, “You take me and surrounded me with yourself. Your glory covers me continually.”

What an amazing thought! Often when we find ourselves drowning in sorrow or fear, surrounded on all sides, we only believe God is with us if He takes away the circumstances that are causing our pain. We get angry with God because things aren’t changing or He is not “answering our prayers.” But what if His presence was enough? What if the knowledge that even thought the danger might still be present, the glory of the living God is covering us and surrounding us more powerfully than our trouble, was enough to give us the peace we need to sleep and rest? David believed this with His whole heart. He was never afraid to be honest with God about his fear and frustration. He laid it all out on the table. But he also put His trust in who He knew God to be and was still able to rest knowing that he is ultimately safe in God’s hands. 

We also see David was not afraid to call God to action. “Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God!” The ESV says in verse 7. Do we do this with boldness like David? Do we call on our Father to save us when we are trouble believing that He can rescue us? David seems to have grasped a deep understanding of how to walk through pain:

– We can be honest with God about how deeply troubled we are by our circumstances.

– We can find rest and peace even when the darkness is still all around us because God is with us, covering us with His glory.

– We can boldly call on God our Father to intervene on our behalf and defeat our enemies.

All at the same time! God is moved by our pain and sorrow, and promises that no matter what enemies we face, He is with us. He wants our openness, honesty, trust, and faith. 


Discussion Questions

  • When was the last time you reached out to the Lord in pain and anguish?
  • Do you pray through painful seasons of your life? Do you find yourself needing the boldness that David exhibits in Psalm 3? 
  • If you feel you have nothing to lament in your life, how can you share the pain and troubles of others and join them in prayer?

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 3 – There is salvation in God.
  • Psalm 67 – Let all the peoples praise you, O God.
  • Psalm 100 – The Lord is gracious; his love is everlasting.
  • Psalm 95 – Come, let us worship and bow down.
  • Psalm 105 – Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
  • Psalm 102 – My help comes from the Lord.
  • Psalm 42 – Why are you so heavy within me, O my soul? 
Psalm 33

Psalm 33

Psalm 33

by The Park Worship Community | Psalms

Psalm 33

by Ben & Kinsey Smith, David Brent

Verse 1
The dark made way for light
You spoke and there was life
You gathered the waters
And stars formed by your breath

Verse 2
You know the schemes of man
Disrupt the nation’s plans
Your word unchanging
Faithful and true

Verse 3
You raise the poor from dust
The needy lifted up
to sit at your table
your daughters and your sons

Chorus
Oh lover of justice
You will be my strength
Your steadfast heart remains the same

Sing oh sing, you righteous ones
Praise His name
Age after age, now.and always

Who is like the Lord our God
Seated high, holy and worthy.
His love fills the earth

Bridge
You are my help and shield
I put my trust in You
You rescued me from death
I know that You are good

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.

 


Don’t forget to check out the original song written to go along with this week, Psalm 33.

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.