Every day I will bless You
Yesterday I took time between each hour throughout the morning to do 5-10 minutes of exercise. A friend of mine invited me into this "Granny Exercise" group. Each week one of us posts 4 different exercises for the week. One of the four for this week was "Dance or sing while moving 40 min total this week." Well, since my girls were gone to work, I got out a hymnbook and danced around our tiny kitchen while singing some old hymns of the faith. Oh, how it lifted my spirit! All the songs were prayers of praise, rich with truth: "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee"; "Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above"; "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty"; etc.
My Psalm reading this week has been in the 140's. Those psalms are primarily about praise. Many verses about praise are statements of commitment: "While I live, I will praise the Lord; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being" (Psalm 146:2). Many others are exhortations or imperatives: Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, and His praise in the assembly of saints" (Psalm 149:1). Some of those exhortations are directed toward the psalmist's own soul: "Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name!" (Psalm 103:1); and again, "Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul!" (Psalm 146:1)
But some of them are prayers spoken directly to God: "I will extol You, my God, O King; And I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You, and I will praise Your name forever and ever." (Psalm 145:1-2) This is not a commitment stated to others, but a prayer made before God Himself in our face-to-face time with Him. It is a prayer from the overflow of our hearts to the God who is worthy of this daily exaltation because of His greatness (Ps. 145:3) and His goodness (Ps. 145:8-9).
Every time I come to those first two verses of Psalm 145, they capture my attention and I am caught up short. There are days when praise and blessing are more difficult, when I struggle with sadness or uncertainty or a sense of defeat. Life feels more like the Slough of Despond rather than a joyful journey of praise. But my heart knows the truth, and this is a commitment before God that I desire to fulfill: "Every day I will bless You and praise Your Name forever and ever."
I encourage you to look for verses that extol the Name and character of God and then pray them back to Him. Get out a hymnbook and find hymns that are prayers directed to God. Sing them to Him. Refresh your soul in the truths of who God is and what He's done. Dance around your kitchen while you do it! I guarantee it will lift your spirit. There's no better time to praise the Lord for His greatness and His goodness than this Christmas season. Make this a season of praise-full prayer.