Our Help Comes from the Lord - Psalm 121

A weekday chapel service of comfort based on Psalm 121.

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, our God watches over us constantly and loves us. Let us worship him with Sing! A New Creation 208 “I Lift My Eyes Up.”

SNC 208 I Lift My Eyes Up

Hear the Word of the Lord from Psalm 121:

I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth. 

We praise the Maker of heaven and earth with the first two verses of Psalter Hymnal 465 “Sing Praise to God who Reigns Above.” 

PsH 465 Sing Praise to God who Reigns Above

Let us pray to our powerful and loving Lord…

Lord God, Maker of heaven and earth.  
You made magnificent mountains and the oceans,
the tiny worms and bugs, and everything in between.  
And, you made us.  
You are amazing and powerful, yet you love each of us dearly.  
Thank you for guiding our lives and ruling all of creation.  
In the knowledge of your love and your power,
we bring before you our prayers for our world.  

Lord of Hosts,
Guide the leaders of our world and give your wisdom to all who are making decisions.  
Send your peace on earth.
In you alone, the maker of heaven and earth, we find our help.

[a few moments of silence]

Gracious God,
May our Christian friends throughout the world feel your power and strength.  
Bring an end to the fighting among believers
and the persecution of believers by unbelievers.  
Give our missionaries courage and compassion.  
In you alone, the maker of heaven and earth, we find our help.

[a few moments of silence]

God of compassion,
Bless us and those we love with safety, health, endurance.  
In you alone, the maker of heaven and earth, we find our help.

[ few moments of silence]

Our help comes from you,
the Maker of heaven and earth for you watches over us day and night
and you have provided for all we need through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

We praise our God for hearing our prayer with the third verse of Psalter Hymnal 465 “Sing Praise to God who Reigns Above.”

PsH 465 Sing Praise to God who Reigns Above (vs. 3)

Hear the Word of the Lord from Psalm 121:

He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

Let us celebrate the faithfulness of our God who neither sleeps nor slumbers with Psalter Hymnal 556 “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”

PsH 556 Great is Thy Faithfulness

Hear the word of our Lord from Psalm 121:

The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

We profess our confidence in God to each other using the words of Psalter Hymnal 446 “If You But Trust in God to Guide You.”

PsH 446 If You But Trust in God to Guide You

During the next few moments we will have a time of silence. In this time think about God's constant promises to watch over us and take care of us and our dependence on him. Or, you may respond to the scripture we've heard and the songs we've sung in silent prayer.  

Silence [The length of silence may be dependent on the time available and the age appropriateness of those gathered for worship.]

In Psalm 121 we hear that God is faithful. He watches over us constantly, loves us, and guides our lives. Since he has given us everything we have and are, we respond to him with Sing! A New Creation 218 “I Offer My Life.”

SNC 218 I Offer My Life

Hear the Word of the Lord from Psalm 121:

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
the Lord will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.

Leadership Notes

1. The italic words are meant to be spoken transitions, not included in a written order of worship. Additional notes in brackets provide additional options or suggestions but are not intended to be read in worship.

2. The service is designed in such a way that a written order is not required but may be used.

3. If you have a printed order of worship, project the songs on a screen, or include the songs on a handout, feel free to shorten or adapt the transitions (ie. Remove the book and number of the song title if it is provided in other places.)

4. This service uses a variety of music. If it is unfamiliar to the group, it may be helpful to play an entire verse of a song before it is sung. Another way to introduce an unfamiliar song is to play it as people are gathering for worship.

5. This service is based on Psalm 121 and has the verses scattered throughout the service. These can either be read by one voice or responsively with the leader and those gathered (in which case it will either need to be printed or projected on a screen). Regardless, the tone of all the readings is confident assurance in the power and love of God.  

6. The first song, SNC 208 I Lift My Eyes Up, may be sung two or three times. It should be sung with strong and steady confidence. Likewise, the final song SNC 218 should give a sense of confident dedication.

7. The prayer between the verses of PsH 465 Sing Praise to God who Reigns Above can be read by one person. However, there are many other options as well. It can also be lead by two people, in which case, the first would read the main part of the prayer, and the second would read the refrain line (In you alone, the maker of heaven and earth, we find our help). This emphasizes our dependence on God for help. If a small group is gathered, consider turning the times of silence into an opportunity for people to voice specific requests. If this is done, it may be helpful to specify that the prayers offered should be brief and related to the topic introduced by the leader (ie. Prayers for the world, the church, and the local community). If the community has multimedia capabilities, another option is to project pictures during each of the silences so that those gathered may see who they might be praying for. For example, during the third section people running for the local school board, people working in the neighborhood food pantry, the sick grandmother of one of those gathered, and the new baby of one of those gathered may each be projected for a few seconds each. A powerful way to do this might be to pray the first few lines of the section, project the images, and then at the end of each section of the pictures strongly and confidently declare the refrain line.  

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