Psalm 150:1-6 – Praise the Lord. Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens. Praise Him for His acts of power; praise Him for His surpassing greatness. Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise Him with the harp and lyre, praise Him with tambourine and dancing, praise Him with the strings and flute, praise Him with the clash of cymbals, praise Him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. (NIV)
Praising the Lord is something I think we often take for granted, or perhaps we reserve for Sunday morning worship. But the reality of it is that we can, and should, praise the Lord constantly. Unfortunately, many times we never get beyond the first part of verse one of Psalm 150. It is easy for us to give praise to the Lord when we are in the middle of a moving worship service in God's house, but praising the Lord outside of His sanctuary, and praising God in other ways, is sometimes more difficult for us to do.
I recently taught my 17-month-old daughter, Brianna, to "praise the Lord" by raising and shaking her hands. Though I do not intend to imply that she fully grasps what she is doing, I think perhaps she does have the right idea. Now whenever I tell her to praise the Lord, she, without hesitation, lifts her hands into the air and begins waving them to and fro. But she doesn't stop there. Once she begins "praising the Lord" she is insistent that everyone else join in. She almost immediately looks at her mother and grunts with the expectation that she too should lift her hands and praise the Lord. Then she turns back to me and, with the same expectant grunt, waits for me to lift my hands and praise the Lord. Before you know it, we are lifting our hands, smiling, and praising the Lord.
We too have a Father who has told us to praise the Lord and to lift up holy hands. Oh, that we would respond to Him with the excitement and enthusiasm of little Brianna and that we too would begin to spread that excitement and joy to others by urging them to join us in praising the Lord. Perhaps this is part of what Jesus meant when He spoke to the apostles about the little children and said, "unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3 RSV). Psalm 150 gives us a list of things for which to praise God, as well as a list of ways to praise Him. Now all we have to do is follow through on our Father's request and praise the Lord.
"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord." (Psalm 150:6 NIV)
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father and Master of heaven and earth, we give You praise. We humble ourselves before Your feet and praise Your precious name. You alone have blessed us and You alone are worthy of praise. Help us never to forget to give You the praise You deserve. We praise You, Lord. Amen.