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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 138           

I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
   before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple
   and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness;
   for you have exalted your name and your word
   above everything.
On the day I called, you answered me,
   you increased my strength of soul.

All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord,
for they have heard the words of your mouth.
They shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
for great is the glory of the Lord.
For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly;
but the haughty he perceives from far away.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies;
you stretch out your hand,
and your right hand delivers me.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands. (NRSV)

Reflection
As I read Psalm 138, David’s gratitude to God jumps out at me. Gratitude is often a theme that we find woven throughout the book of Psalms, and Psalm 138 is full of it: thanksgiving for answered prayers, praise for God’s steadfast love and faithfulness, and gratitude for God being all-knowing and ever-present.

Every Sunday morning, our Sunday School students gather for Children’s Chapel, where they worship, sing, and learn about the Bible lesson for the day. Towards the end of our time together, the children can line up and say a prayer out loud in front of the group. Ten or so children typically will come forward, and about 99 percent of the time, the prayer that they say is a prayer of gratitude. It’s always an inspirational moment, and it makes me wonder about my prayers and the sense of gratitude to God that I have in my own life.

I’m not always the best at expressing gratitude. I often find myself focusing more on what isn’t going right rather than being thankful for the good stuff that is happening in my life. I do notice, though, that when I take time to be more aware of the good stuff, my mindset can completely change. Whether it be adding something to the gratitude list in a notebook or writing a prayer of gratitude in my prayer journal, that simple act can change my day and also bring me closer to God. Gratitude is powerful!

Prayer
Gracious and loving God, thank you for all of the blessings that you give to me each day. Remind me to show my gratitude to you, especially on days when I’m feeling disappointment or discouragement. Amen.

Written by Briana Belding-Peck, Family Ministry Coordinator


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