In the times of ancient Israel, families took a week-long holiday to camp in a valley outside Jerusalem. There they celebrated a special occasion known as the Feast of Tabernacles (tents), experiencing briefly what life was like when their ancestors lived as nomads in tents before God gave them the land he had promised them.
During this week they would walk the path up to the temple to worship God, singing songs as they ascended Mount Zion. These 15 songs became known as Songs of Ascent (Psalms 120 through 124). One of them was written by the ultimate dark horse for the throne, a former small-town shepherd boy: David.
We can learn a lot about the God we pursue together at Eastside by taking a week to explore this worship song David wrote 3000 years ago. Let Psalm 131 help you find higher ground to meet with God for the first 7 days of your 21 days of prayer.
“a climb or walk to the summit of a mountain or hill”
A song of ascents. Of David.
1 My heart is not proud, LORD,
my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
or things too wonderful for me.
2 But I have calmed and quieted myself,
I am like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child I am content.
3 Israel, put your hope in the LORD
both now and forevermore.
Imagine being a pilgrim pursuing God by ascending a steep hill to an impressive house of worship, singing this song with others along the way. Which words in the song stick out to you most? Why those words? What do they reveal about what valley you may need to ascend out of this week?
David was a simple shepherd boy who became a king who designed the temple these pilgrims were ascending to on Mount Zion. How does David’s journey remind you of yours?
Repeat verses 1 and 2 as a prayer to God. Say it slowly, more than once if you need to, to begin ascending toward God today.
Note the words that stuck out to you earlier in this worship song. Use each one to form a prayer, an admission, a thank you, or to express a desire of some kind as you begin these 21 days of prayer.
Temperatures change when you ascend to higher elevations. What atmospheric or attitudinal changes are beginning to happen around you? What sense do you have from God as you begin this journey? Thank him in advance for what is about to happen in your life these next three weeks.