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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 150

Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
   praise him in his mighty firmament!
Praise him for his mighty deeds;
   praise him according to his surpassing greatness!

Praise him with trumpet sound;
   praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
   praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with clanging cymbals;
   praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord! (NRSV)

The last five psalms all start with the same line: “Praise the Lord!” Do you think there is a message there? We need to hear that message over and over as we navigate a world full of pessimism and negativity. The message of Psalm 150 is that God’s people should be caught up with praising him. In what ways are you “caught up” in praising the Lord?

We get up each morning, and the first things that pop into our minds are the pressures of the day. You stare at your alarm, wondering why it went off twenty minutes earlier than you need to get ready for the day. Then you remember, you want to be a person of praise! You deliberately set your alarm so you could spend a few minutes with the Lord to start your day, especially now during this Lenten season. So you grab your Bible and focus your thoughts on how great God is and on what God has done for you. Right?

My prayer and devotional time is in the morning, and I do give praise. But distractions creep in, and my praise and prayer is at times half-baked. I have many people or things to pray about, and sometimes I just clump them into a one-liner like “Lord, I pray for everyone and all things that are on my heart this morning.”

In this season of Lent, as we reflect on and prepare for Christ’s journey in death and resurrection, we need to focus and give praise for all that the Lord provides. Giving praise helps to put things in perspective. Focus on God, pray about problems that come up, give thanks. God needs to be at our center, so we can become filled with praise and love for all his creation. Recite the psalms and give praise!

Lord, you are the almighty Creator. Thank you for loving me and saving me from my sins. Your mercies are fresh every morning, and for that I will give you praise. Shape me into the image of your Son this Lenten season, and prepare me by putting a song of praise in my heart for everything I face this day. Amen.

Written by Lola Coke, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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