Friday, April 8, 2011

Praise the Lord!

Psalm 103 is all about praising God. defines praise as the act of expressing approval or admiration; commendation, laudation.  Praising God should be natural to those of us who love God.  When I was growing up, I always thought that praising God was only done in a few ways; singing, praying, going to Sunday school and speaking in church.  I did.  I also thought that most people did not praise God because they seemed to sit stoic in their seats, not doing anything.  But obviously this is not true and it doesn't matter what or how others praise God because their comfort ability zone is not the same as mine.  I can get up and sing or pray in public.  Not everyone can.

One time, I went to a Junior High retreat with kids from church.  There they gave so many ways to to praise and meditate on God.  One was to light a candle for what/who you are praying about.  One was to draw a picture.  One was to write poetry or just keep a journal.  Even when you are praising God, you can act outside the box you put yourself in.  It shouldn't matter if the person to your left isn't singing.  Maybe the song is too emotional for them.  Maybe someone told them once that they can't sing.  God says make a joyful noise!  Noise is not pretty!  Maybe the good singers need to learn that.  If the person in front of you raises their hands to heaven, and you don't who cares?  That is what they are comfortable with.  Sometimes little ones want to dance and jump around to a song.  I love to sway to songs.  Sometimes clapping is appropriate.  But you have to find your way to praise God.  Does it have to be acceptable to everyone?  No, because God made us all different.  I can raise my hands, I can fall to my knees, I can sing.  I can't draw anything but stick figures, but God just wants our adoration.  He loves us and wants us to love him back.

Psalm 103:13 - 22
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
   so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
   he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
   they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
   and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
   the LORD’s love is with those who fear him,
   and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
   and remember to obey his precepts.
 19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
   and his kingdom rules over all.

 20 Praise the LORD, you his angels,
   you mighty ones who do his bidding,
   who obey his word.
21 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,
   you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the LORD, all his works
   everywhere in his dominion.

   Praise the LORD, my soul.

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