Psalms are prayers that have been prayed by the people of God for millennia, and as such, we ought to continue in that tradition. One of the most unique aspects of being human is our ability to use tools. And “prayers are tools.” But there’s one important clarification: “Prayers are not tools for doing or getting [as we’re used to in our Western culture], but for being and becoming… At the center of the whole enterprise of being human, prayers are the primary technology. Prayers are tools that that God uses to work his will in our bodies and souls. Prayers are tools that we use to collaborate in his work with us.” (Eugene Peterson — ‘Answering God’).
“Those attending the annual festivals approached Jerusalem with joy (verse 1). They loved the city and prayed for its flourishing (verses 6–7). What Jerusalem was to the ancient Jews the church is to believers in Christ. When we come to faith in Christ, we become citizens in the heavenly Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:22–24; Philippians 3:20). The manifestation of that heavenly (and future) city is the counterculture of the Christian church, a society where the world can see human life lived according to God’s will. Through the Gospel, different races and nations are “closely compacted together” (verse 3; cf. Ephesians 2:11–22). People who would never get along outside the church love one another inside it. We must joyfully seek out the church; the Bible knows nothing of solitary religion.” (Keller, Timothy. The Songs of Jesus) Check out the sermon below.