Wednesday, 2nd December 2020
Title: Praise the Lord!
Author: Pastor Wallace Ong
1 Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.
2 The LORD builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
4 He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.
5 Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.
6 The LORD lifts up the humble; he casts the wicked to the ground.
7 Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre!
8 He covers the heavens with clouds; he prepares rain for the earth; he makes grass grow on the hills.
9 He gives to the beasts their food, and to the young ravens that cry.
10 His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,
11 but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.
God created this world and continues to sustain it with His mighty power. He is so good in so many ways, but sad to say many of us took His grace and love for granted. The unseen hands of God that have upheld and blessed us are beyond our imagination. He planned and provided all that is needed in life for all of His creation. However, we take every blessing of God bestowed upon us for granted – our very existence and our everyday needs such as our provision, safety, health, family, and many others. Such an attitude would cause us to neglect in praising and worshipping HIM, as well as in our daily prayers.
In response to the expert in the Jewish law, our Lord Jesus told him that the greatest commandment of all is to “…love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and the greatest commandment. – (Matthew 22:36-40)”. Without a heart of adoration to express our affection through worship and praise to God, how can we say to our God that we truly love Him? Often we thought that piety rendered to God ought to be expressed by our strength, talent, performance and skill. However, the Psalmist simply tells us in verse 10 -11 “His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.”
Similarly a simple acronym can act as a guide for our prayer – A.C.T.S (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication). Not only does this acronym remind us of the elements of prayer, it also shows us the priority we ought to give in each item. The first element of prayer should be ADORATION (Praise). Genuine adoration and praise to God arising from our heart and soul enable us to recognize who God is, who we are in this relationship with Him, and to appreciate what HE had done for us and in us. This will help us to grow deeper in Love with Him and to strengthen our faith in understanding His will as we bring forth our supplication to Him. When we spend more and more of our time in adoration and praise, we will increase our delight in prayer. We would learn to humble ourselves and recognize that everything is from Him. There is nothing for us to boast nor do we take pride in our own strength and ability even in serving Him. Next, we would then confess our sins before our Righteous God as we begin to see God and ourselves in the correct perspective. Finally, this will lead us to give thanks for how the ALMighty God would go out of His way to care for us and to pour out His love to us who are merely a puny human in His sight.
Dear God, our Heavenly Father, we thank you and praise you for who you are. Keep us from falling into the sin of taking You for granted. We pray that you will take captive our thoughts and understanding, and will take control of our hearts and fill them with Your truth, O Lord. Give us self-control to always accept Your will for our lives, and to put the concerns of others before our own interests. Grant peace to the bereaved, healing to the sick and courage to the weak. Give us boldness to go out and share the Good News to those who have yet to know You. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
1 你们要赞美耶和华、因歌颂我们的 神为善为美．赞美的话是合宜的。
7 你们要以感谢向耶和华歌唱、用琴向我们的 神歌颂。
在回应犹太律法专家时，我们的主耶稣告诉他，最大的诫命是 “…你要尽心、尽性、尽意爱主你的神。这是诫命中的第一，且是最大的。-（马太福音22:36-40）” 没有一颗崇敬的心来表达我们对上帝的敬拜和赞美，我们怎么能对我们的上帝说我们真的爱祂呢？我们常常认为，对上帝的虔信应该是通过我们的长处、才华、表现和技巧来表达。然而，诗人在第10-11节仅告诉我们：“他不喜悦马的力大、不喜爱人的腿快。耶和华喜爱敬畏他、和盼望他慈爱的人。”
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