Tag Archives: praise

A Verse for Meditation

It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High.                                                                                                                 Psalm 92:1 

English: Scroll of the Psalms
English: Scroll of the Psalms (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Questions for thought and prayer:

  • When was the last time you began to pray with praise or thanksgiving instead of a petition?Do you give thanks when you open a box of Kleenex? Do you remember that a beautiful tomato is God’s creative handiwork when you are shopping for groceries? Have you ever been sick enough that now you are grateful when you wake up painfree? 
  • The Bible says that God calls every star by its name. Do you feel small when you look at the night sky full of stars, or do you feel grateful that the Creator of this magnificence knows your name?
  • God is called by many names in the Bible. What names come to mind first when you think about praising and thanking God? How do the many names for God help you to give him praise and thanksgiving? Do you have trouble remembering to give thanks and praise, because you have so many requests? 
  • (Remember that in the liturgy we are reminded to do this when we worship in the congregation:
    Pastor – Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
    Congregation – It is right to give God thanks and praise.) 

If time permits, read Psalm 92 in its entirety. It is a beautiful prayer of praise and thanksgiving that will inspire you to notice more things that are worthy of your praise and thanks.

© 2012 Katherine Harms

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A Verse for Meditation

Heavenly Hosts
Heavenly Hosts (Photo credit: ZORIN DENU)

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.    

                    Isaiah 6:3

To begin thinking: 

  • How does this verse help me change my worldview?
  • How does this verse nourish my hope in God when the world in time and space looks dismal?
  • Where can I see God’s glory manifest in the world around me?
  • Why should I praise God’s glory when I feel desolated by the daily news?

The Truth in all its Splendor

 The more I read Psalm 19, the more I love it. This psalm is like a layered sauce for shrimp and pasta. Each layer has been reduced to its flavorful essence, and there are so many flavors that it is impossible to appreciate each one individually.

Psalm 19 begins with a lavish statement of the way creation testifies to God’s work and ongoing sovereignty. Pointing out that created things have no voice in the sense of a sound we can hear, the psalmist says, as translated in The Message, “Their silence fills the earth: unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.” (Psalm 19:4) This statement feels like a Hubble photograph. It responds to my hunger for truth. The world around me suffers from a massive truth deficit, but all of creation speaks truth that fills and comforts my heart. To hear these words is to be built up in faith that God has a purpose for all things, and his purposes do not fail.

The heart of the psalm is a master statement of the way God’s law testifies to the same truth which creation speaks without words. God’s law is perfect, sure, right, clear, pure and true. There really is order behind the chaos I encounter everywhere. Like a painter’s palette of many colors, the psalmist’s word palette names God’s law as the facets of a jewel – law, decree, precept, commandment, fear, ordinance. God’s truth does not vary with passing events. Rather, it is like a precious stone that I might hold  in my hand turning it this way and that to catch the light and see the light transformed by passing through the jewel.

In case I don’t really absorb the value of God’s law, the psalmist explains what will happen if I make the law a part of myself. If I absorb it into my spirit, it will make me feel alive, it will make me look wise even if I am not smart, it will make me happy with a happiness that cannot be crushed, it will give me insight into reality, it is never out of date, and best of all, it is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Using God’s personal name, the name God gave to Moses to emphasize his eternal presence with Israel, the psalmist makes the revelation of the law intimate and vibrant, just for me.

In sum, the psalmist says, God’s revelation of himself is so rich and so valuable that it is better than the finest gold or the sweetest honey. Maybe I don’t think so highly of honey as the psalmist, but I do know that when Israel left Egypt bound for the Promised Land, they called it the land of milk and honey. My hunger for truth makes me yearn for God the way I might yearn for food. The psalmist expresses delight in God’s revelation of himself in creation and in the law the way I might delight in a richly complex sauce over shrimp and pasta.

There is only one legitimate response to such a revelation. I bow my head in worship and prayer. God has given me the priceless treasure of himself, wordless truth in creation, words of truth in his law. With the psalmist, I ask nothing more than to speak and think truth in all things as my creator does.

If you don’t have a Bible handy, here is a copy of the Psalm

Psalm 19

1      The heavens are telling the glory of God;

and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.

2     Day to day pours forth speech,

and night to night declares knowledge.

3     There is no speech, nor are there words;

their voice is not heard;

4     yet their voice goes out through all the earth,

and their words to the end of the world.

In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun,

5     which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy,

and like a strong man runs its course with joy.

6     Its rising is from the end of the heavens,

and its circuit to the end of them;

and nothing is hid from its heat.

7     The law of the Lord is perfect,

reviving the soul;

the decrees of the Lord are sure,

making wise the simple;

8     the precepts of the Lord are right,

rejoicing the heart;

the commandment of the Lord is clear,

enlightening the eyes;

9     the fear of the Lord is pure,

enduring forever;

the ordinances of the Lord are true

and righteous altogether.

10    More to be desired are they than gold,

even much fine gold;

sweeter also than honey,

and drippings of the honeycomb.

11    Moreover by them is your servant warned;

in keeping them there is great reward.

12    But who can detect their errors?

Clear me from hidden faults.

13    Keep back your servant also from the insolent;

do not let them have dominion over me.

Then I shall be blameless,

and innocent of great transgression.

14    Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart

be acceptable to you,

O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.