Songs & Scripture: “Like Incense/Sometimes By Step” (Brooke Ligertwood & Rich Mullins)

I love this song.  It it my most-played song in my Itunes worship folder for a reason. I hope it blesses you too. Brooke Ligertwood (Fraser) of Hillsong composed the verses and adapted Rich Mullins’ classic for the chorus.

Anointed is the phrase that comes to mind when I think of Ligertwood’s ministry, as I see any human being doing what the Creator created them to do. May God reach into your heart in a new way through this music!

Psalm 119 seems to be a central passage in this song, but of course, there are many other references. Please share more if you think of them!

[Verse 1]
May my prayer like incense rise before You (Revelation 8:4)
The lifting of my hands a sacrifice (Psalm 141:2)
Oh Lord Jesus turn Your eyes upon me (Psalm 27:9, Mark 10:47)
For I know there is mercy in Your sight (Psalm 51:1, John 6:37)

Your statutes are my heritage forever (Psalm 119:111)
My heart is set on keeping Your decrees (Psalm 119:112)
Please still my anxious urge toward rebellion (Galatians 5:16-17, Philippians 4:6, Hebrews 3:15)
Let Love keep my will upon its knees (Matthew 6:10, Matthew 26:42)

Oh God, You are my God (Psalm 63:1)
And I will ever praise You (Isaiah 25:1)
Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You

[Verse 2]
To all creation I can see a limit
But Your commands are boundless and have none (Psalm 119:96, Matthew 24:35)
So Your Word is my joy and meditation (Psalm 119:47-48)
From the rising to the setting of the sun (Psalm 1:2, Psalm 119:97, Psalm 119:148)

All Your ways are loving and are faithful (Psalm 25:10, Psalm 145:17)
The road is narrow but Your burden light (Matthew 7:13-14, Matthew 11:30)
Because You gladly lean to lead the humble (Psalm 25:9, Psalm 149:4, Isaiah 66:2)
I shall gladly kneel to leave my pride (Psalm 95:6, Daniel 4:37)




I will seek You in the morning (Psalm 5:3, Psalm 90:14, Mark 1:35)*
I will learn to walk in Your ways (Deuteronomy 26:17, Micah 6:8, 2 John 1:6)
And step by step You’ll lead me (Psalm 23:2, Psalm 25:5, Psalm 37:23, Psalm 119:35, Galatians 5:25)
And I will follow You all of my days (Mark 1:17, John 12:26)

With love,



7 thoughts on “Songs & Scripture: “Like Incense/Sometimes By Step” (Brooke Ligertwood & Rich Mullins)”

  1. Psalm 63:1 starts You, God are my God
    Psalm 25:10 says
    Psalm 25:10

    New International Version (NIV)
    10 All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful
    toward those who keep the demands of his covenant
    As I was meditating on the Word, this song came to mind and I began putting the corresponding scriptures with each line, when I came across you blog. So I just wanted to share a few of mine that you didn’t have, and you had some that I didn’t have. I love this song because it leads so diligently into worship.

    1. Awesome, thanks so much for sharing! I’ll add those to the references. I’m sure there are more out there, too, that song is jam-packed with Psalms references.

  2. Hi Lauren! This is great. I’ve loved this song for a long time but it definitely takes on a richer meaning when you read the verses along with the song. Thank you for posting this, I’m sending the link to my Bible study. 🙂

  3. “May my prayer, like incense, rise before you” is also referenced in Psalm 141:2

    🙂 Thank you for putting these lines and verses together.

    1. Absolutely! Sometimes I put the reference at the end of the phrase since both lines are included in that verse, but it might be helpful to place on both. Thanks!!

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