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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 146           

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
   I will sing praises to my God all my life long.

Do not put your trust in princes,
   in mortals, in whom there is no help.
When their breath departs, they return to the earth;
   on that very day their plans perish.

Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
   whose hope is in the Lord their God,
who made heaven and earth,
   the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith forever;
   who executes justice for the oppressed;
   who gives food to the hungry.

The Lord sets the prisoners free;
   the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
   the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the strangers;
   he upholds the orphan and the widow,
   but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

The Lord will reign forever,
   your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord! (NRSV)

From the very beginning, Psalm 146 is abundant with praise. Lately I have found it difficult to be overflowing with praise of any sort. News alerts appear on my phone throughout the day with downright depressing information—mass shootings, immigrant children separated from their parents, local gun violence, just to name a few. I get home from work tired, faced with household chores, a sometimes grumpy daughter, and lots of prep to do for the upcoming day. Some days I easily forget to praise God.

Then there are the good days—getting a short jog in after work, enjoying dinner and a concert with friends, or spending the day at the beach. How many days go by where we take the good things for granted? Far too often I find myself only remembering to pray if I need to get through something (and those prayers usually don’t involve praise). Praising God requires focus on our part.

This psalm reminds me that God is with us at all times, in both the good and the bad. God’s love is with us in all situations—and we give God praise for that!

Faithful God, thank you for your constant love and care. Help me to trust you and praise you, even when it seems difficult to do. Amen.

Written by Briana Belding-Peck, Family Ministry Coordinator

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