PRAISE IS RISING
God in heaven, author of everything seen and unseen, I am in awe of you. Your grace and power sustain all of creation—you sustain me. There is nowhere you are not at work, nowhere your mercy is not able to break into and do miraculous things.
Read PSALM 65
For the director of music. A psalm of David. A song.
1 Praise awaits[b] you, our God, in Zion;
to you our vows will be fulfilled.
2 You who answer prayer,
to you all people will come.
3 When we were overwhelmed by sins,
you forgave[c] our transgressions.
4 Blessed are those you choose
and bring near to live in your courts!
We are filled with the good things of your house,
of your holy temple.
5 You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds,
God our Savior,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas,
6 who formed the mountains by your power,
having armed yourself with strength,
7 who stilled the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
and the turmoil of the nations.
8 The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
where morning dawns, where evening fades,
you call forth songs of joy.
9 You care for the land and water it;
you enrich it abundantly.
The streams of God are filled with water
to provide the people with grain,
for so you have ordained it.[d]
10 You drench its furrows and level its ridges;
you soften it with showers and bless its crops.
11 You crown the year with your bounty,
and your carts overflow with abundance.
12 The grasslands of the wilderness overflow;
the hills are clothed with gladness.
13 The meadows are covered with flocks
and the valleys are mantled with grain;
they shout for joy and sing.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWherever you are, still yourself and listen to your breathing. As you breathe in and out, give thanks to God for this gift of life. Praise him that he sustains and provides for all that he has made.
I have a penchant for crime drama, particularly the stories where the initial incident escalates into the world of politics and the media. This was the approach taken, for example, by the hugely successful Danish TV series The Killing, and by Spiral, a French production. This psalm uses the same dynamic, but for good purposes.
We start in the temple in Jerusalem, where the psalmist rejoices that God answers prayer and forgives all who call on him, and he is happy simply to be in this sacred space (vs 1-4). But the bulk of the poem takes us way beyond the temple mount. We are spiraled into the whole of creation to see God’s loving hand exercised in favor of all that he has made.
Mountains, seas, animals, the planet and its peoples are all the beneficiaries of this lavish providence. And this grace provokes a response from beyond the temple walls. We are told that songs of joy come from the whole earth and that even the fields, meadows, and valleys shout for joy. Wherever I find myself on this earth, praise is always rising.
Are there circumstances in your life where you need to incorporate more praise into your prayers?
Lord God, show me how I can—along with all your people and with all of creation—praise you with my whole life.
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