Saturday, October 19, 2013
The Place of Praise
Psa. 108:1 My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and make melody.
Awake, my soul!
Psa. 108:2 Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn.
Psa. 108:3 I will give thanks to you, O LORD, among the peoples,
and I will sing praises to you among the nations.
Psa. 108:4 For your steadfast love is higher than the heavens,
and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
The Psalmist is often going through difficult days, and yet, we find wonderful lines of praise to God. It is in his praise to God that he finds the rock and anchor for his life. His heart is steadfast in praise to God, for God is the one who is steadfast. The Psalmist awakens and gives praise to God. I think the music of praise must have been pretty loud because he says he's going to "awaken the dawn!"
Praise is lifted up to the Father, but praise is also shared among the people. It is in the midst of others that the Psalmist lifts up his praise of God -- and among other nations that may be hostile to worship of Yahweh. It is in his praise of God that he experiences the steadfast love and faithfulness of God.
Yesterday I heard a testimony of one who has "overcome" many hurdles in life -- and then was asked the secret to overcoming those hurdles on a daily basis. The answer was to read the word -- praise the Lord -- and pray, and in that order! How often do we talk about the place of reading the word and of prayer, but we miss out on praise. There is a place for praise in our lives, just as the Psalmist learned through his journey.
What happens when we praise? It is in our praise to God that we get our eyes off of ourselves and our focus completely on him. He alone is the one who is worthy of praise and honor and glory. There is joy in praising God and suddenly that joy comes bubbling out of us as we greet the dawn. I love that line, "I will awake the dawn." I think that his heart becomes so full of praise to God in the morning that he can no longer keep quiet. He's playing a little number on his harp and suddenly he's so excited that he gets carried away and even the neighbors hear him -- and he really doesn't care! Why? Because his heart has become so filled with praise to God that nothing else really matters.
Maybe it's time for us to put praise into our spiritual practices. Read the word. Praise the Lord. Pray. It sounds like that's just the right place for praise in our lives!
Lord, may my heart be lifted to you in praise every day. Amen.