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A WOMAN OF WORSHIP: WE BEGIN!

a-girl-reading-a-letter-with-an-old-man-reading-over-her-shoulder-c1767-70 AND SO WE BEGIN! I hope many of you will get A Woman of Worship so you have the musical CD to augment your study, but if you can’t afford it, you’ll still be fine.

First and foremost, we must see how the psalms differ from all the other books of the Bible. In The Bible Jesus Read, Philip Yancey tells how when he was feeling low people would advise him to read the psalms. Yancey said, “I would come upon one of the wintriest psalms and go away frostily depressed.” But then he realized the psalms are not like the other books in the Bible. All the other books are written from God to us. But the psalms are written by the psalmist to God. You are actually reading over the shoulder of someone’s honest prayer journal. There are great highs and great lows in the psalms, because life is “bi-polar.” God wants us to come to Him in our sadness and in our gladness and dialogue with Him. We are His “wife” and He wants intimacy with us. He wants us to share our thoughts and feelings — and then be still, and allow Him to answer. He wants dialogue, for you are His Beloved. Because the psalms are inspired by the Holy Spirit, they also teach us to pray, and we can use them as a primer. Because the psalms were meant to be sung, we will be singing — and that will etch them in your heart so you can sing them and pray them wherever you are.

Jump in and invite your friends. This is a perfect summer study for if you miss some posts, you can still jump right back in. So glad you are with us! You’ll have the week to work through this post. Because there is a song to learn, start learning it today!

1. What is unique about the book of psalms? List everything you can.

2. Meditate on Psalm 5:1-3. What does David say he is doing. Describe how this shows a dialogue.

3. Listen to this musical rendition of Psalm 5:1-3 from Maranatha. It’s an easy one to learn — let us know if you listen to it — and let us know if you learn it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4g7LKCO_iSI

This is the KJV set to music:

Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation.

2Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.

3My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

4. Now go slowly through Psalm 5:1-3. Look at each phrase. Meditate. Share your meditations.

5. Finally — do what the psalmist did.

Share your meditations, your thoughts, your heart with the Lord in the morning.

Lay your requests before Him and wait in expectation.

Write down any impressions He gives you. You are dialoguing, remember!

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45 comments

  1. I came across this verse this morning and have selected it to be my theme verse for this summer study.

    …”This is the refreshing”. Is 28:12

    1. What is unique about the psalms?
    List everything you can.

    The book of psalms is unique because:

    It contains the shortest chapter in the Bible. Psalm 117
    It contains the longest chapter in the Bible. Psalm 119
    It contains the center chapter of the Bible. Psalm 118
    There are 594 chapters before Psalm 118.
    There are 594 chapters after Psalm 118.
    Add these numbers up and you get 1188.
    Psalm 118:8 is the center verse of the Bible.
    “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.”
    The book of Psalms is the longest book in the Bible with 150 chapters. Every psalm contains some note of praise to God.
    No other book of the Bible has as many different authors as does Pslams. Seventy-three are attributed to David in the superscriptions, and an additional two, Psalms 2 and 95, are ascribed to David in the New Testament. Twelve are ascribed to Asaph, a priest who headed the service of music. Ten were by the sons of Korah, a guild of singers and composers, and other psalms are ascribed to Solomon, Moses, Heman the Ezrahite, and Ethan the Ezrahite. Fifty of the psalms are anonymous. Tradition says Ezra may be the author of those.
    Psalms is divided into five books.
    Book One: Psalms 1-41
    Book Two: Psalms 42-72
    Book Three: Psalms 73-89
    Book Four: Psalms 90-106
    Book Five: Psalms 107-150
    There are eight categories of psalms: Individual and communal lament psalms, thanksgiving psalms, enthronement psalms, pilgrimage psalms, royal psalms, wisdom psalms, imprecatory psalms, and messanic psalms.
    The poems in the Psalms were written over a period of a thousand years from the time of Moses in the fifteenth century B.C. to the time of Ezra in the fifth century B.C.
    The following is an excerpt from The Heart of Hebrew History by H.I. Hester (1949)
    “The Psalter is the great book of devotion for the human heart in its hunger for satisfying fellowship with God. We may agree with W.E. Gladstone, the great English statesman, who said: “All the wonders of the Greek civilization heaped together are less wonderful than the simple book of Psalms.”

      1. Dee I must confess, when I read your reply, I felt as if someone had thrown me into the water and told me to start swimming. I’ve never considered myself to be left-brained or right-brained. I thank you for encouraging me to stop and think.
        I believe I have an answer to your question: “What does the picture in the post have to do with psalms?” I, as the reader of a psalm, represent the old man. He is reading what surely is a personal letter the young girl has written. The young girl represents the psalmist. She has poured her heart into this letter and I wonder if she is even aware that the old man is reading over her shoulder. I’m sure David had no idea his personal thoughts to God would be read centuries later.
        I assume the right side will help me to see real life emotions and questions in the Psalms. If I’m understanding correctly the right side places me in the psalm as I ask how can this apply to my current life situation.
        It’s going to be a great summer!!

    1. Tammy, I’m adopting that as my theme verse now, too. Thanks! Gloris (sounds like Doris)

    2. Just wanted to thank you for these interesting psalm facts, Tammy. I just read them out loud to my husband and son.

    3. Tammy, thanks for pointing out the center verse in the entire Bible. It gives me goose bumps — “It is better to trust in the Lord than put confidence in man.” Ps. 118:8

      That’s candy for the left AND the right brain. 🙂 Gloris

  2. The youtube link did not come through. Can you tell us the name of the video?

  3. False alarm. I just put in Psalm 5 and got several. I liked this one best. I hope the link comes through. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4g7LKCO_iSI

    1. Thanks for the link, Anne. Nice way to memorize the verses.

      Did you all notice that most the people in the accompanying pictures were holding their hands just so, in the classic prayer position, and had such serene, joyful faces?

      I like the ones better that had tears flowing down their cheeks, and I could identify even more, I think, if there had been ones whose faces were contorted in anguish.

      My own face isn’t very pretty, I don’t think, when I’m REALLY pouring my heart out to God, and I’ll bet the psalmists’ weren’t either.
      Sometimes what’s on my heart that I’m pouring out to the Lord just isn’t very pretty.

      BUT, at the end of pouring out my heart, after God has gently reminded me of what’s good and true and lovely and the tears have stopped flowing, my face probably resembles the serene ones.

      Still, I NEVER hold my hands just so. 🙂 Gloris

      1. Neither do I Gloris. Sometimes I have no idea why my hands do what they do. Sometimes my palms will just turn up or face forward. Always in response to a thought about the Lord though.

  4. Tammy, I love all the neat things about Psalms. They are fascinating. I can only think about how they are filled with emotions, all expressed openly to God. I don’t think there is an emotion known to man that is not expressed in the Psalms. Joy, love, hope, praise, worship, fear, anger, sorrow, weariness, loneliness and the desire for revenge. Possibly even jealousy when the wicked seem to prosper. All are permeated with faith. No matter how the psalmist feels, he knows God.

    2.David is talking to God. He also says that he is meditating. This indicates to me that not everything he says is factual or right. I think he is expressing the feelings in his heart. This would explain why he asks for his enemies to be destroyed.

    David knows that God listens to him and he just looks up. I love this part. How many times do I tell my husband something and he gets frustrated because he can’t fix it. Many times a fix is not what I am looking for. I just want him to listen to me. Maybe I just want to complain. Complaining has always been taboo and really should be in most social situations. What a wonderful freedom to be able to carry these feelings to God.

    He looks up to God because he knows God will sort it out. God will deliver justice but also mercy. Just as daddy knows when you are 5, God knows what to do.

  5. I am planning some extended time alone with God at the end of next week. Psalm 5 describes just what I want to do. I want to dialog with the Lord. Not only to share the meditations of my heart but to hear from Him. My prayer is that I may understand more and experience the kingdom of God. I would so appreciate your prayers for me concerning this time.

    1. Anne, will you be fasting as well? The Rock church in San Diego has some great fasting helps. Also, there are fasting links on Gloriadelia on the right hand side and lots of encouragement in the tag cloud, too, if you click on the word, “fasting”.

      Also, on “In the Market” with Janet Parshall the other day, she interviewed an author, Elmer Towns, who wrote a book, I believe, on Fasting. Here’s a link to that interview. It was SO encouraging. http://www.moodyradio.org/brd_ProgramDetail.aspx?id=52712

      1. I actually have a book on fasting by Elmer Towns. It was very good but has been a few years since I read it. Fasting for Spiritual Break Through is the one I have. As the time comes closer I’m not sure that I will be able to really be alone with the Lord as I had planned. I will be off from work and still would love prayer for this time to be used productively.

  6. What is unique about the book of psalms? List everything you can:
    My thoughts on the the book of Psalms:
    Its a book where a man reveals his true weaknesses, his hearts cry for help and his desires.
    The Psalmist shows transparency, in other words his heart. It’s seems to be a book that has the most intimate feelings of a man (woman 😉 expressed in a beautiful poetic style.
    4. Now go slowly through Psalm 5:1-3. Look at each phrase. Meditate. Share your meditations.
    I am always stupefied at God’s beauty and righteousness. He always seems to cleanse me from my shame and leaves me at awe when I feel his grace. His face shines and I am His. I am amazed.
    5. Finally — do what the psalmist did.
    Thank you for this Dee. I realize once again that I can come to Him to “dialogue” just as it is written in Psalm 5:3 “In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice”. God is so good to us that he has brought me to tears this morning in worship and adoration to Him. I love him and thank him for every new opportunity to get back in communion with him. His mercy’s are new every morning. Alleluyah

  7. 2. Meditate on Ps 5:1-3. What does David say his doing? Describe how this shows a dialogue.

    David says he has been calling upon God, day after day after day. He is planning to bring his requests, again to God ‘in the morning’, and he will be eagerly awaiting God’s answer.

    3. I have listened to Maranatha’s version of Ps 5:1-3 and am memorizing it. I have Ps 5:1-3 written on a notecard and placed on my dresser mirror so I can sing it first in the morning and before I go to bed.

    4. Share your meditations.

    In Ps 5:1-3 I see frustration. David is being harassed by his enemies and has been crying out to God for help. So far, nothing has changed in David’s life situation. But, David does not wonder IF God is going to act on his behalf. He knows God will act. David wonders WHEN God will act. Therein lies the frustration. God is not moving fast enough for David.
    However, beyond the frustration, I see security. David acknowledges God as King-the one who has sovereign rule over his life. Down deep in his troubled soul, David can find rest in this wonderful truth. I can certainly identify with David in his frustration and security. Knowing God is Sovereign has helped me endure this last 24 months. I am amazed at His goodness and mercy. The wonderful things He has done on my behalf is sometimes hard to describe in human terms. Like David, I know LIFE IS TOUGH…GOD IS FAITHFUL!

  8. I like the last verse in KJV “..I will direct my prayer unto Thee and I will look up.”

    “coincidentally”, I was looking through some old posts on Gloriadelia this morning(a devotional blog) and came across one that has pictures of beautiful skies from Alaska to Kenya to illustrate Psalm 19 and encourages the reader to “look up”.

    I know I put these together myself, and all, but I was really encouraged when I re-read it this morning. Hope it encourages someone else today. It’s goose-bumpy how well it fits with the theme of this study: http://gloriadelia.wordpress.com/2009/11/16/the-heavens-declare-the-glory-of-god/

    Like the Stargazer guy says on PBS, “Keep looking up!” Gloris

    1. Gloriadelia
      WOW! WOW! WOW! Thank you for sharing. Thank you for encouraging all of us to KEEP LOOKING UP!!!

  9. p.s. Dee, my friends and I are doing this together at our local coffee shop on Friday mornings. I ordered the book, too. Thanks for the encouragement to share our hearts to the Lord in the morning. So excited for all we’ll be learning together, locally, and here on the web! Gloris

  10. #1. What is unique about the Psalms?

    they were written to be set to music, mainly stringed instruments
    they are Hebrew poetry
    they are very personal, many of them, revealing the heart and emotions
    of the writer
    they describe wonderfully the attributes of God
    in many Psalms, one can see Jesus
    they help me to talk to God in prayer, praise, and worship, or lament

    #2. Meditate on Psalm 5:1-3. What does David say he is doing?

    David is praying to God, “For to Thee do I pray”.
    In the morning David prays, and then he waits and watches expectantly for God to answer.

    “Give ear to my words, O Lord,
    Consider my groaning.
    Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God,
    For to Thee do I pray.
    In the morning, O Lord, Thou wilt hear my voice;
    In the morning I will order my prayer to Thee and eagerly
    watch.” (NASB)

    David is calling for help, and I always like how David, the anointed king of Israel, refers to God as “my King”.

    How does this show a dialogue?

    David prays, asking God to hear his cry for help, and then he looks up, or eagerly watches, for God to answer.
    This passage gives me assurance that God does hear and I must have a heart of expectation.

  11. #3. I have been watching and listening the KJV of Psalm 5:1-3 on Youtube, learning and memorizing. It is good to set it to music and it does seem to help it “stick” in my brain!

    I am also working along in A Woman of Worship book, in week one. Just the first few passages I read, in Psalm 116:1-2 and Psalm 8:3-4 have encouraged me and I have found myself praying those words and incorporating them into my prayers for my family, like, as I am praying for my children or my dad, I will say “I love you Lord, because You hear my voice and my supplications” (Psalm 116:1).
    When David says in verse 2 that he shall call upon the Lord as long as he lives, that says to me that I can never run out of reasons to call upon the Lord for the rest of my life!

    I would appreciate your prayers for my son, Ryan, who will be traveling to Italy on Sunday, June 6, with students and teachers and chaperones from his Italian class at school. I am praying for safety in their travel and while they are there. It’s scary to let him go out into the world! My parents let me study abroad in college for a summer, and I think, How did they ever do it?! He’ll be there for 10 days.

    1. I have just said a prayer for Ryan. I hope he has a wonderful time while in Italy.

  12. Does anyone have any good suggestions or book on memorizing? Dear Heavenly father I pray for Ryans safe journey to Italy on sunday & back. Give them traveling mercies & help them to have a wonderful time while there. Please keep them all safe & under your precious care. In Jesus name I pray.

    1. Joyce
      When I want to memorize scripture, I write the verses out on a notecard and keep it where I can see it. I begin with the first verse and concentrate on memorizing it before moving to the next verse. I have heard it said that if you repeat something three times until you have it memorized, then you will retain it. I believe the key is finding what works best for you.

      1. Here’s some tips from Navigators. They’re a ministry that, among other things, really stresses and teaches Bible memorization: http://www.navigators.org/us/articles/items/How%20to%20Memorize%20Scripture

    2. Thanks for your prayers, Joyce! I like Tammy’s suggestion to write the memory verse on a notecard and stick it somewhere where you see it all day long.

  13. 5. I have been ‘dialoguing’ with God about my right brain all week. He spoke to me one afternoon. “Look at me” he said. When I looked up He went on to explain why I’m a little off balanced. I’ve been singing Ps 5:1-3 all week and last night it was my lullaby. This morning after I sang the first verse of Be Still My Soul, God gave me an all over the body shot of joy. He is doing something new in my spirit. I see that I am on a new course with the Psalms. No longer will I be reading looking for an instant solution to my problem. I want to approach each Psalm as a mini-bio of the psalmist. Who was he? What was he experiencing in his life when he wrote it? What emotions were swirling around? Where did he think God was? What is God saying to me?
    Dee, I lke what you said about the word worship. Worth shape-I am shaped by what I ascribe worth to. I believe the question I need to ask myself is “Are you ready for the climb?”
    Have a blessed day everyone!

  14. Meditations on Psalm 5:1-3
    A .David is asking God to listen to him and consider what he has to say. He is looking for answers to his problem and he knows God has them.
    B. He promises to come to pray in the morning, so he has an appointment with God:) I love that. I wonder why he makes his appointment in the morning as opposed to any other time of day. Perhaps for uninterrupted time while the rest of the world sleeps.
    C. He looks up after he prays for God’s answer or maybe just His presence. David does not want to be the only one talking. Sometimes I do and I don’t want to take the time to listen. I miss so much in that case.

    5. Lord, I am so sad. Not because I have no hope, because You are everything to me and I have You always. But right now I am sad because of loss. My first inclination is to deny my feelings and remind myself that I should have joy in You and that in all of this You have a plan for our good. But I think I have learned that the correct response is not to deny my feelings but to bring them to You. So here I am to climb up in Your lap and cry for a little while.

    I’m embarrassed to say that I am sad over a car. It has been my little car for quite a few years now and was such a good one. For the last year my oldest son Al has been driving it. He has such a wonderful heart but could also learn about boundaries. He has been working in a restaurant owned by a mother and daughter. The restaurant has been failing and they wrecked their car. He wanted to loan them his and drive an extra car we have. I tried to talk him out of it but he was determined. A few weeks ago they were following him in it and ran into the back of the car he was driving. Their friendliness disappeared and he had to pay for fixing both cars. Then just the other day he was driving my little car and it over heated ruining the engine. I can’t be angry with him. These are the life lessons young people have to learn and I know he is sad too. He was betrayed by people he cared about (they were quite nasty to him), lost a good car through carelessness and now has nothing to drive for the job he has lined up for the summer but a gas guzzler. I know God will work in all of this and I am so thankful that he has not been injured or had worse things happen to him. I do feel very sad though.

  15. The book of Psalms was the first place I went to when I became born again. I was a woman at the well and with deep hurts and much pain in my heart to work through. So through David’s pain I could identify with him as he cried out to God.

    However, many years later and much healing I truly love my morning worship with the Lord while I am out in the woods walking my pup, Elsa. I spend many mornings yes, praising Him but many mornings crying out for the various burdens in and on my heart.

    Praise God for this look into my favorite place to go camping!

    I have a radio program of worship and thoughts on worship and well I do all kinds of stuff:0) But this year (starting in September was my sixth year) I decided that I would begin reading through the Psalms. On Monday I will complete Psalm 119 and it has been just wonderful to read with music underneath and I also tap into the Treasury of David for little insights into each Psalm.

    Bless you Dee!

  16. “Give ear to my word, O Lord, consider my groaning.”
    I know from the Psalms that God inclines His ear to hear our cries, literally bowing down close to hear us when we cry out. Therefore I should never be ashamed or embarrassed to “let it fly” so to speak. He will weigh my cries and they will not go unheard.

    “Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God, for to The do I pray.”
    God knows my heart and my cries determine my plight. I will pray to Him–my God alone. I know that He alone is the only One who can help me.

    “In the morning, O Lord, Thou wilt hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to Thee and eagerly watch.”
    This one, David knew his Lord! He know that God was listening and that God would respond. So we do not cry out in vain! God listens and then moves on our behalf! Praise His glorious Name!

  17. 1. What is unique about the book of psalms? List everything you can.

    I love the Psalms because they’re poetry, they’re music and they show so much emotion. The Psalms remind me that it is OK to tell God how I am feeling because that’s what the Psalmists did and God listened.

    2. Meditate on Psalm 5:1-3. What does David say he is doing. Describe how this shows a dialogue.

    1 Give ear to my words, O LORD,
    consider my sighing.
    2 Listen to my cry for help,
    my King and my God,
    for to you I pray.
    3 In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice;
    in the morning I lay my requests before you
    and wait in expectation.

    David is dialoging with God because he’s telling Him about all his emotions – sighing, crying for help, knowing God will answer. David is having a difficult time but still counts completely on God.

    4. Now go slowly through Psalm 5:1-3. Look at each phrase. Meditate. Share your meditations.
    God hears us! He is ready and willing to be my help and wants me to talk to Him in the morning, give Him my requests. He’s the love of my life and wants me to dialogue with Him as such.

      1. Thanks! My schedule this summer might be sort of weird, so I could be late sometimes with responses. I am really looking forward to our future studies. Last night I ordered A Woman of Worship, so I’ll be all set!

  18. #4. Meditations on Psalm 5:1-3

    There seems a sense of urgency in the first few lines: “Give ear – consider my meditation – heed the sound of my cry”, like listen – listen – listen! David sounds like he is desperate for God to answer.

    “Give ear to my words” is a picture of God bending down to incline His ear toward David. As I was praying early this morning, these lines from the Psalm reassured me and gave me confidence as a picture unfolded of God, the King, responding to my voice (and David’s voice), and heeding, hearkening to our cries, bending down, listening.
    I was also reading in my book, “Every Child Needs A Praying Parent” by Fern Nichols, and what I was reading tied in with my meditation on this Psalm. She said that God responds because He knows the sound of our voice, like a mom can pick out her child’s voice among a crowd of other children’s voices.

    Where can I get this confidence that God listens to my voice? Because I am His child. God was no stranger to David. David knew His God. My Father, too, knows the sound of my voice.

    When David says he prays in the morning, and then eagerly watches for God’s response, you sense an air of excitement, of waiting to see what God will do. Fern Nichols writes that praying is exciting because God’s answers often amaze us.

    I know for me, the biggest obstacle to prayer is doubt, when doubt sneaks in and makes me wonder if God really hears my prayers and will respond. But meditating on “Heed the sound of my cry, my King and my God” gives me confidence in the face of that doubt, in that the “sound” of my voice is familiar to God, He knows me. That’s what I think David was saying, he wasn’t questioning God’s hearing ability, it was that God would recognize that it was David calling out to Him.