A Midweek Devotional - Praise
In the Psalms, the Lord puts word and song to the emotions of our heart, modeling for us how we can bring those emotions before Him in prayer. At times, the Psalms model lament. At times, they form songs of praise. Psalm 19 praises the Lord God for who He is as He has revealed Himself through His Creation and His Word.
Wednesday, October 14th
Scripture for Reflection - Psalm 19
Reflecting on the Text:
Recently I was talking to a friend about prayer. We talked about the gift of prayer, but we also talked about the struggles we sometimes have in forming our prayers. In talking through those occasional struggles, we discussed the powerfully shaping impact praising God has on our prayers. When we begin our prayers by praising our God and Father, our hearts are drawn more fully into the conversation of prayer.
But how do we praise God in prayer? It sounds like a simple, obvious question, but sometimes in writing it off as simple we miss the rich resource we have in the Psalms. When we look to the Psalms as a guide for our praise we are led by the Spirit of God to praise the Father for who He is, as He has presented Himself in His Word.
Psalm 19 offers us a wonderful template of praise. Verses 1-6 speak of God as He has revealed Himself through Creation. Verses 7-11 then speak of God as He has revealed Himself in the Word (the Law). Finally, the Psalm closes by modeling the humble response of the worshipper. So as you read Psalm 19, consider how it might shape your prayers of praise. When opening in prayer, praise God by repeating back to Him the qualities and attributes you find in the Psalm. For example:
Father, I praise you because you are: Creative, Majestic, Glorious, Immense, Ruler of All, Sustainer of All, Lord of All. Your Word is True and Nourishing. You are Wise and Fearsome. You are the Law-giver. You are Without Fault or Error. You are the Protector. You are my Rock and my Redeemer.
As you enter into prayer, praise the Lord in this way allowing the Word of God to guide you. And as you do, be encouraged by the way the Spirit dispenses with distractions by turning your heart to the One who is worthy of praise.
Questions for personal reflection:
What causes you to struggle with prayer?
Will you allow the Word of God to guide you in prayer?
How do you see Jesus in Psalm 19 and how does seeing Him there further draw you into praise?