Tag Archives: faithfulness

Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord, all nations!

    Extol him, all peoples!

For great is his steadfast love toward us,

    and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.

Praise the Lord!

~Psalm 117

These are the words I have prayed the few times I have traveled internationally.  Just as stepping onto foreign soil brings the excitement of experiencing a new culture and interacting with different people, Psalm 117 reminds us of the excitement of living daily in a culture of praise with people who are not the same as we are.  Thomas Merton wrote that joy in praising God is the pure essence of the spirit of the Church’s prayer.

In just a few words the Psalmist reminds us that the great love and enduring faithfulness of God invites us into a life of praise that transforms hearts and lives, our own and others.  We can live beyond our own borders by committing to a life of praise that proclaims God’s grace to all.   Hallelujah and amen!

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Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.

Enter is a word of invitation. In Psalm 100, worshipers are invited into God’s gates and courts or more specifically into the Holy of Holies, where His presence dwells. But perhaps the Psalmist is also inviting us to enter into a deeper understanding of thanksgiving and praise, which are similar.  Praise includes gratefully acknowledging God for who he is, and thanksgiving is about appreciating God for what he has done.

Yesterday, I spent the day intentionally entering into each new physical space or relational situation with thanksgiving. At the end of the day, there was a deeper sense of praise in my soul.  Moreover, I noticed how within my ordinary comings and goings, I had the ability to welcome others into God’s presence simply by being thankful for them.

I encourage you to try this little spiritual exercise with me. In the days ahead, each time you enter a new door or enter into a conversation with someone, give thanks for God’s goodness, love and faithfulness. Then take time to notice what difference it made in your life.*  Ultimately, may our hearts overflow with thanksgiving and praise as we enter into each new day.

*I would love to hear what this spiritual experience of entering with thanksgiving was like for you. Please take a moment and write a comment!

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