Why I Praise the Lord

[Inspired by studying Psalm 98]

Why do I praise the Lord?
Oh let me, oh let me count the ways.
He is the King of glory,
The maker of my days.
He won salvation for me,
That I may dwell with thee.
He won salvation for me,
And now I am ever free.
I praise him for his awesome grace,
Through which someday I’ll see His face.
I praise him for his awesome grace,
And it’s Him I will always embrace.
He never leaves me stranded.
He never abandons me.
He never turns His back.
His Spirit is my guarantee.
He shows me His glory in Jesus my Lord.
He shows me His glory and He is adored.
He shows me his glory,
Oh wow! Oh wow!
He shows me His glory in His great story.
So why do I praise the Lord?
There are many reasons to list.
The quantity does not deter me,
For I love to reminisce.
So why do you praise the Lord?
Oh please, oh please tell me.
Proclaim to me His mighty works.
So in Him I’ll have more glee.

Confident Praying

For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me; you take me out of the net they have hidden for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord , faithful God. [Psalms 31:3‭-‬5 ESV]


Just think on those verses for a moment. Go ahead, I’ll wait…

[Pondering]

…and now consider this: Into your hand I commit my spirit are words that Jesus prayed while on the cross – right before he breathed his last breath (Luke 23:46). With his dying breath he was praying the Word of God. No doubt, the rest of this Psalm was on his heart as he was dying:

~ You are my rock and fortress.
~ For Your name’s sake You, oh Father, lead me and guide me.
~ You are my deliverer – taking me out of their net.
~ You are my refuge.
~ My life is Yours for You have redeemed me.
~ Father, You are faithful.

What a powerful prayer to be prayed at that time. A prayer of faith, for Jesus knows the Father like no one else. Jesus knew what was coming and thus he endured the cross FOR YOU. Jesus knew his Father was and is faithful. Jesus knew God’s plan would be fulfilled. Jesus knew God would be glorified. Knowing all of this, Jesus prayed with confidence – praying for your salvation – and with his dying breath.

And now, we sit here on this side of the cross looking back. Looking back to see Jesus’ incredible love for you and for me. He died for our sins and rose from the grave that we could have the hope of the resurrection. He committed his life to God and His plan of redemption so we could be saved. What an awesome God we have. Knowing this and knowing that God wants to hear from us, it behooves us to commune with Him.

But maybe you are feeling dry in your prayer life or just need something different. Try praying the Psalms like Jesus did. Pray Psalm 31, for example, and let the Holy Spirit carry you on a wave of joy – splashing you with the love of God. Start with verse one and then meditate – praying what comes to mind, and then move on to the next verse and so on – taking your time. It is like you are carrying on a conversation with God. He speaks to you through His Word and you pray back to him. And then God speaks and then you. What a fun scene. A child and daddy communing together in intimate joy.

If you run out of time, that’s alright. Just pick up where you leave off next time. Pray, pray and pray some more. Pray with confidence – in faith – and through your dying breath, knowing:
~ God is your rock and fortress.
~ For His name’s sake, God will lead and guide you.
~ God is your deliverer – taking you out of the nets set for you.
~ God is your refuge.
~ Your life is His for God has redeemed you through Jesus Christ.
~ Your Father is faithful.

Jesus prayed this with complete confidence and thus, through faith, you can and should as well. God wants you to. Give thanks and praise and worship to God – committing your life to Him. Pray confidently, as Jesus did. Take refuge in God and chat with your heavenly daddy. He’s waiting for you.

So, are you ready? Okay then, let’s pray…

Befitting

Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the godly. [Psalm 149:1 ESV]

Studying Psalm 149 with my midweek Bible study crew inspired me to write the following poem.


Praise is indeed befitting You.
You are awesome, indeed that’s true.
Your great power has broken through.
To make my heart completely new.

Praise is indeed befitting You.
Lead me now that I may review.
Jesus died – my days won’t be few.
Jesus lives – I am made holy new.

Praise is indeed befitting You.
Something that I can’t overdo.
My praise now is just a preview.
Your praise will not discontinue.

Level Ground

My foot stands on level ground; in the great assembly I will bless the Lord .
Psalms 26:12 ESV

You have placed me on level ground, oh God, through Christ Jesus my Lord.
You have placed me on the firm foundation of Your Word.
You have given me hope beyond this life.
You have placed me upon the Rock.
And i give You thanks and praise – in the assembly and through my life.
Oh God, I honor and worship You,
On level ground.
This world proclaims a message that sits precariously on shaky ground.
It’s hope is false and death-ridden.
But You are my God and You alone, for through You i am on level ground.
With You,
I never feel like I’m running up hill.
I never feel like I’m spinning my wheels.
I never feel like I’m running into dead ends.
For with You i am on level ground.
And so I will praise You in the great assembly and I will praise You with my every breath.
I will praise You with my brothers and sisters, and I will praise You in the midst of the world.
Thank you for placing me on level ground through faith in Jesus Christ.
Thank you for saving me.
Thank you for holding my life.
Oh God I praise You –
On level ground.
Amen!

Teach Me

Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments.
[Psalms 119:66 ESV]

Good judgment is in short supply, oh God, and i’m not pointing fingers. Good judgment is in short supply with me concerning Your Law.
Teach me.
Help me.
Show me.
Your Law is good, right and pure.
Your Law is perfect, enduring and sure.
I know this but i need good judgment that i may follow Your Laws rightly.
I need good judgment that i may glorify You more fully.
Teach me to know Your Law more deeply, oh God.
I give You thanks that You have given me knowledge of You through Jesus Christ.
I give You thanks that You have given me Your Holy Spirit.
I give You thanks that You have saved me.
Thus,
i want to know Your Law better and have better judgment that my obedience in this world would glorify You.
You deserve that, so help me.
Teach me, oh God, teach me.
Give me good judgment for i believe in Your commandments.

Praying the Psalms ~ The List

Let’s keep the list going. Can you add to it?

“Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Who can utter the mighty deeds of the Lord, or declare all his praise?” [Psalms 106:1‭-‬2 ESV]

Who can utter Your mighty deeds, Oh Lord?
Who can declare all your praise?
I will certainly try but my list will be far from complete.
For Your deeds are numerous and Your faithfulness unending.
Your love endures forever and Your might is unmatched.
You created all that I can and can not see.
Your creation is a thing of beauty.
Your wonders never cease.
You formed me from within my mother’s womb – I came forth from You.
You breathed life into me.
You declared all life to be precious.
Though a sinner You gave me Jesus.
Though a sinner You gave me Your Spirit.
Thus, I will live with You.
You raise up the lowly.
You humble the proud.
Hand in hand, we will stand before You in worship.
You have defeated all Your enemies.
You have subdued them all.
You have chased away my fear.
Oh God,
You are worthy of my worship.
You are worthy of all honor.
You are my God.
You are always with me – never have You departed.
You are always true – never have You been deceptive.
You are always holy – never to be corrupted.
You are.
Oh Lord, this is but a minuscule list – so much more can be said.
And so I will continue to praise and give You thanks, for Your steadfast love endures forever and ever.
Amen.

Understanding

The following prayer was inspired by Psalm 119:169-176.


Father God,
Many seek understanding through science.
Some seek understanding through logic.
Others seek understanding through philosophy.
Oh God, please give me understanding according to Your Word.
Many seek understanding through intellect.
Some seek understanding through debate.
Others seek understanding through experience.
Oh God, Please give me understanding according to Your Word.
For Your Word is
right
perfect
and precious.
You Word is my
delight
Life
and salvation.
All other understanding is fleeting, temporary, lost and flawed.
Nothing else can save.
So God, I long for You.
I long for Life,
I long to know.
I long to understand.
But I have gone astray and I am ashamed.
I have sought understanding in all the wrong places.
So in Your great mercy seek for me and hold me tight.
Bring me close.
Oh God, please give me understanding according to Your Word,
that I may not stray from You.