Devotional for Wednesday, March 25
Psalm 146 (NRSV)
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God all my life long.
Do not put your trust in princes,
in mortals, in whom there is no help.
When their breath departs, they return to the earth;
on that very day their plans perish.
Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God,
who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith forever;
who executes justice for the oppressed;
who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the strangers;
he upholds the orphan and the widow,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
The Lord will reign forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord!
It is important to lift up words of praise. Praise is not thanksgiving. Prayers of thanksgiving are important, too, but praise is when we exalt God just because.
God made us so we could bask in divine love and adore our Creator, declaring his loving nature. When we praise, we participate in a cycle designed to bring joy to all involved. When we fail to praise, we miss out on the benefits of that relationship.
“I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long.” The psalmist doesn’t say, “I will praise God when life is smooth and I am happy.” We praise God throughout our lives, regardless of our circumstances.
For us to be fully what God made us to be, it helps to find our preferred ways to lift up praise. There are many praise psalms like the one above. Reading them out loud is a great way to praise God! Instead of giving you a list of praise psalms, I’m going to give you a challenge. Go through the psalms and see how many leap out at you.
Psalms were once sung. They still can be, if you use a resource like Julie and Timothy Tennent’s “Metrical Psalter,” which has become a regular resource for worship planning at Luminary.
And there are other ways we routinely praise God through music. Here’s a familiar one, courtesy our choir director, Roxanne Cabrera, and our pianist, Briana Wells:
So, a simple question: How will you praise God today?
Lord, you are mighty, you are holy, you are tender, you are loving. Praise the Lord!