This weekend, we’re going to sing a song based on Psalm 121 called There’s a Liftin’ of the Hands. Its a simple song that takes the first verses of the psalm and makes them a prayer and a confession.
Currently, I’m reading “A Praying Life” by Paul Miller. The chapter I read this morning explored the influence of the Enlightenment and secular worldview on our prayer life. We have bought into the fairly recent idea that subjective things like love and beauty are false and only the objective things like trees and rocks are real. Secular thought has the effect of making prayer a subjective experience and therefore, a mythological self-deception. Despite being “Christian” in our doctrine, we adopt the secular view of the universe and so we never call upon the Lord in faith because we have swallowed the secular lie that no one is really listening.
He also goes on to talk about the effect of over-spiritualizing prayer. This means that we over-emphasize the spiritual world and under-emphasize the physical world. Without consideration of our physical world, our prayers fail to touch our lives in a real way. To illustrate, Miller asked the question how can the kingdom come when it’s floating?
The cry of Psalm 121 is both a very solid, physical expression of need and it’s a spiritual expression of faith in the invisible God being the source of help. “There’s a Liftin’ of the Hands” has been a healing process for me as I sing it. I have been too often swinging in-between the secular and over-spiritual in my worship and prayer. I need this song to be the cry of my heart, that the Lord is my help. We realize where our help comes from. It’s not the secular view that our help comes from the rational, cause and effect universe. It’s also not the over-spiritual view that my help comes from escape to the ethereal and that my physical needs are not worthy of the cry for help.