1 I will lift you up high, my God, the true king.
I will bless your name forever and always.
2 I will bless you every day.
I will praise your name forever and always.
3 The Lord is great and so worthy of praise!
God’s greatness can’t be grasped.
4 One generation will praise your works to the next one,
proclaiming your mighty acts.
Most of us have days when gratitude and praise come hard, when we “just don’t feel like giving thanks,” don’t we? This psalm expressed gratitude and praise as a matter of choice, not of how that day felt: “I will bless you every day.” The commitment to daily praise was based on a purposeful focus on praising God’s mighty works. That was important to transmit to the next generation.
Lord Jesus, it’s Thursday, not Sunday. Help me to praise and bless you today, to start or continue doing that every day, and not just when I go to church. Amen.
The responsibilities that overtake our identities often monopolize our time and energy to the point that we feel we have little control. That we can’t possibly make space for something “optional” like praising God. This kind of busy robs us of many things. For me, busy often robs me of the proper amount of sleep, the chance to make a home-cooked meal, or maybe the opportunity to spend more time with my loved ones. The more I examine the small activities of my days, the more I realize that intertwined into my busy are small subtle ways that I am praising God and passing that message along to others.
My mind can easily scroll through the to-do list items that I have been able to check off, and it most certainly can bring up those things I failed to get done but will try again to complete tomorrow. Harder to bring to mind are the number of times a day that I touch the cross I wear around my neck or how I can’t help but think “God is good” when I watch someone helping out an elderly person at the grocery store, or hear the giggles of small children as they run to the playground from preschool. For years I have shared with my children praises of God in the small joys of life, and those come back to me in their own words now on a regular basis. Just the other day my 18-year-old daughter was eating a strawberry and stated, “This is just a delightful reminder of the beauty of God right here….”.
I certainly still have plenty of room to grow in bringing praise into my everyday spiritual life. I want to think I’ve got this praise thing covered, but then I realize I might possibly be mixing that up with gratitude. I tend to lean towards positivity and gratitude in most any situation, so much so it can be perplexing to some people. Others might even call it annoying, especially in a situation where the consensus is there is nothing to be positive about or grateful for. I’ve decided I’m going to add some intentional praise into my morning and evening conversations with God, and look for more of those subtle ways to praise God throughout my days.
How are you actively including praise as part of your daily spiritual life? What are the small, subtle things you do every day that maybe you hadn’t recognized leading you towards an attitude of praise?
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