This psalm of David came to me in a different way than many others. In the Christian Book of Prayer, this psalm is one of several which opens the day. As in the early church, one may choose to pray at several specific times of the twenty four hour day, and one does not have to be Baptist, Methodist, Roman Catholic, Old Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Calvinist, Armenian, or…oh, Episcopalian…to pray in such a manner.
In Acts, the disciples come together at specific hours to pray. On the day of Pentecost, they are all together in the same place. It is sometime before 9 a.m. (Acts 2: 15). Presumably, the disciples are meeting for communal prayer and worship. Another day, Peter and John go to the temple “at the time of prayer — at three in the afternoon.” (Acts 3: 1) So, for early Christians, certain times of the day are set aside for prayer.
I remember the first time I prayed this psalm as a prayer. I was surprised with awe. Open your Bible. Read it aloud to God.
David claims that the world and all that dwells here is the Lord’s. David asks, “Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in His Holy Place?” And, he answers, “He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation. Such is the generation of those who seek Him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob.”
Immediately after, David speaks of “the King of Glory.”
“Lift up your hands, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of Glory may come in.”
David asks, “Who is this King of Glory?” and answers, “The Lord, strong and mighty; the Lord, mighty in battle!…Who is this King of Glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of Glory!”
The King of Glory is “who shall ascend the hill of the Lord and who shall stand in His Holy Place.” We are “the generation of those who seek Him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob.”
“Lift up your heads, O gates! That the King of Glory may come in.”