Psalms, Worship and Prayer
Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 145:8-13 | 1 Chronicles 2:18-4:4 | Acts 24:1-27 | Proverbs 18:16-18
The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. All your works praise you, LORD; your faithful people extol you (Psalm 145:8-10 NIV).
One of the reasons I love to read the Psalms before I pray, is that they prime the pump of worship. They help us to focus on the goodness and greatness of God. As we are awestruck by his glory, we are ready to praise and worship. With wide-eyed wonder we are then ready to pray. Worship and praise affects my praying in every way—it provides right perspective, it prompts faith, it helps us focus and refocus our requests. As we worship, we realize the joy of his presence and we are changed.
Other Psalms prompt us to lament—to pour out our hearts to God with brutal honesty. To bring our questions, our concerns, our fears, our doubts—we just lay it all out on the table. The Psalms teach us to be honest and open in our praying. This too is important to our praying.
What do we learn about our God in this short passage? He is gracious and compassionate. He is slow to anger and rich in love. He is good to all—having compassion on all he has made. Later, we read of the glorious splendor of his kingdom. We are reminded that he is faithful and trustworthy. Each of these truths should give us reason to pause and meditate.
The Psalms have long served the people of God as a prayer book. I encourage you to read them slowly, meditate on the truths you find. Now your heart and mind is engaged and you are ready to pray.
Lord, we praise you because you are gracious and compassionate. We exalt you because you are slow to anger and rich in love. We thank you for you goodness to all and for having compassion on all you have made. We continue to place our trust in you for you are faithful and trustworthy. Amen.