Lent Reflections on Bible Prayers 3 – Praise

Lent Reflections on Bible Prayers 3 – Praise

Psalm 134:1-3

The songs of ascents (Psalms 120-134) were sung during the Feast of Tabernacles, when Jewish people would come to Jerusalem from all over and ‘ascend’ Mount Zion to the Temple, remembering the 40 years their ancestors spent in the wilderness before entering the Promised Land.

The Feast is a reminder that this world is temporary and not our home – like a tent (Tabernacle).  Our lives are a journey.  For long periods we may not be sure what is coming next or even where we are going.

At the same time, we know that as God’s people we are also safe within His sanctuary and have a clear role to play in His house.

Whether we currently feel like we are in the dark (ministering by night) or on top of the world this Psalm urges us to praise God.  LORD is the usual English translation for YHWH, which is the covenantal name by which God’s people address him.  So when we praise the LORD, we acknowledge both that we are His and that He is committed to us.

YHWH means something like ‘I am who I am’ – no description, no explanation. Sometimes we feel like we know God quite well; at other times, we just don’t get Him at all.  But He is.  Around the clock.

When we lift up our hands, we communicate physically that we are dependent on Him (like a young child) and that we are offering whatever we have and whatever we are to Him.

When we pray for the LORD to bless others “from Zion,” we are marvelling that the Creator of the universe is amongst us and are implicitly asking to be bearers of the blessings when we descend the hill.

Suggestions for prayer and praise

  • Praise God for being God; for being committed to you; for making you His; that you are safe with Him; that you have a role to play in His Kingdom; that He is with you 24×7.
  • Acknowledge your dependence on Him.
  • Offer all that you are and all that you have to Him.
  • Pray for God to bless others – and to enable you to be a blessing.