Week 2 – Hallowed be thy Name
Psalms of Praise and Thanksgiving
Praise – 8, 19, 29, 33, 100, 103, 104, 111, 113, 114, 117, 135, 136, 145, 146, 147, 148, 140, 150
Thanksgiving – 9, 30, 34, 40, 41, 65, 66, 67, 68, 92, 107, 116, 118, 124, 138
When we see a beautiful sunrise, a work of art, or experience a moving play or liturgy, we talk about it, even when we say there are no words. There is that within us that needs to speak words of praise.
C.S. Lewis tells us: “I had never noticed that all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise. We delight to praise what we enjoy.” And we urge others to join us in praise. After our sports team wins, Facebook is full of comments as we share our momentary pleasure. How much more reason to share our joy in the Lord!
We praise God not because God needs our praise but because we need it. We need to shout from the mountain tops the wonder of God’s loving kindness.
Praise requires that we recognize who God is, God’s greatness. We have reason to pray “Holy is your name!” You would think our worship services would be filled with enthusiastic acclamations of praise but far too often our words fall flat. Our prayers become rote memorizations bereft of the power of meaning.
Praise is central to the Psalms. The early Christian community knew its need to praise God for the beauty of creation (8, 18, 29, 104 & 108) and for God’s providential care for his people, especially for his loving kindness (hesed) and fidelity and truth (emit). Each of the five sections of the Psalms end with words of praise, with the final section exploding in a symphony of praise that starts with Psalm 145 and comes to a grand conclusion in Psalm 150.
Partnered with the Psalms of praise are the Psalms of Thanksgiving. Cognitive psychologists know that as we think so we feel. Thinking about all that our God has done and giving thanks can raise our spirits. It’s hard to remain downcast when focusing on our blessings. Giving thanks every day can lead to an attitude of gratitude that recognizes all life as gift. The Eucharist is the great thanksgiving prayer of the church, thanking God for the great gift of his Son.
As you read through these psalms of praise and thanksgiving, focus on all of the reasons you have to praise God and give thanks. Let the words transform you. Our God truly is an awesome God, worthy of praise and thanksgiving! Holy is his name!
Copyright Robertson 2/2013