Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Begging my Heart to Praise, 30 Day Praise Challenge Week 4

One Sunday morning a few weeks ago, the Youth Pastor at our church gave a call to worship, like he does many Sundays.  This particular day, I was sitting at the piano, helping with the music.  We had just finished singing Matt Redman's Ten Thousand Reasons, one of my favorite songs.  {If you've never heard it or don't know what I'm talking about, just click here to see and hear it}.

The chorus of the song goes like this:

Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul
Worship His holy name.
Sing like never before, O my soul.
I'll worship Your holy name.

And our Youth Pastor said something like this,
"Do you realize that this song is speaking to our souls?  It's like we're grabbing our soul by the collar and screaming, 'BLESS GOD.  BLESS GOD.  BLESS GOD'."

I've had that image in my head now for a long time.  And this is what I have to do some days, this begging my heart, my soul, to bless God, to praise Him, even when it's hard, when it seems like there's nothing to praise Him for in whatever challenging moment I'm facing.  

I love what Ann Voskamp wrote just yesterday on her blog, her own story of choosing to give thanksgiving to God, blessing Him, even when it's hard.  I could never say it like she does, so just go read her blog post, if you haven't.

The Psalms are full of verses about praising God.  And believe me, there is much for which to praise God.  Even when I have to scream at my soul to do it.

So, today, the day before we pause to celebrate Thanksgiving Day, I leave you with a Psalm that talks about blessing God.  Blessing Him for the countless ways that He demonstrates who He is and what He can do for sinful, praise-struggling-souls like me.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!  
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, 
who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, 
and his righteousness to children's children,
to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.
The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.
Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word!
Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will!
Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion.  
Bless the Lord, O my soul!

Happy Thanksgiving!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this today, Lauren... we have so much to thank God FOR this week (new grandbaby, Clarissa's birthday, family all together and healthy, moving my mom here in a few weeks) that I forget to BLESS GOD with my face to him instead of just to my blessings... you reminded me. And I love how he uses music even with the unmusical (me) to teach us!


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