Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God all my life long.
Do not put your trust in princes,
in mortals, in whom there is no help.
When their breath departs, they return to the earth;
on that very day their plans perish.
Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God,
who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith forever;
who executes justice for the oppressed;
who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the strangers;
he upholds the orphan and the widow,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
The Lord will reign forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord! ~ Psalm 146
What are the ways you praise God?
One of the ways I've found - when I'm not sure what words to use - is to read one of the Psalms like this one. I reminds me of all the ways in which trust in God is true balm for the soul.
And where do you praise God? In church? At home?
I have a vivid memory from childhood of my grandmother standing over her sink washing dishes as she listened to my grandfather playing the piano in the next room. It's something that happened often. It was their daily ritual.
On her lips were the words to Psalm 103 - a psalm that begins very much like this one. As she spoke of praising the Lord, you could see the joy on her face for the blessing of hearing the beautiful music coming from my grandfather. In that moment the simple task of washing dishes was a gift to her.
And usually, after he'd finished playing, he would come to the sink and dry the dishes she had been washing. It was their moment.
And it was a moment they shared with God.
There are all kinds of ways to pray and all kinds of ways to praise God. Sometimes, all it takes is a moment of recognizing the simple gifts that are right in front of you.
Holy one, open my eyes to all the ways in which I can praise you. Amen