Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "I Love To Tell The Story"1 (Lyrics)
In Eugene Peterson's book of daily devotionals, Praying With the Psalms, more than thirty of the 365 readings are about praise for God. Peterson's comments in the September 17th devotional were like a cold, wet washcloth to the face as I read:
- We do not make God; he makes us. We do not take care of him; he takes care of us. We do not invent new attributes and duties for him; he creatively leads us into new styles of obedience and experiences of blessings. This realization evokes responses of trust and praise.
After reading it, I paused for a moment, then closed the book, and said, "Lord, teach me to praise."
I used my Bible and resource books with this question in mind: "How do I praise You, Lord?" The first thing I learned was a surprise.
Psalm 103:1 – Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. (NIV)
The Hebrew word translated "praise" can mean to kneel to bless God as an act of adoration. In this verse, David instructed his soul to kneel in adoration. Souls do not physically move; they believe and they move us with desire, passion, or compassion.
I had not knelt in private prayer in more than fifty years. As a result of my word study, I decided to kneel in adoration and blessing as part of my morning prayers. Every day, as I go to my knees, I say the beginning sentence of the Lord's Prayer. After that, I am quiet until I sense that it is time to go on with my usual prayers. On the third morning of my kneeling practice, when I "heard" a most tender, "Welcome home, child," my heart melted with joy! I learned that silence on bended knee tunes my innermost being to hear the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. What a huge reward for such a small act of praise!
I give thanks for what I read on September 17th. It served as a wake-up call to something amazing. The Holy Spirit led me to a new style of obedience and experience of blessing in private devotions. Trusting that there is more to learn, I continue my Bible study using the question, "How do I praise You, Lord?"
Is there more that you could do to praise God? As possible suggestions, here are some of the other meanings of the Hebrew word translated "praise": salute, congratulate, thank, and be still.
Prayer: Father in heaven, in the name of Christ Jesus, our Lord, we ask: please keep us looking for new blessings in our lives as we experience the work of the Holy Spirit. Amen.