Thoughts for the Day

Friday, 25th March 2022: Lifting our souls to God

Humility Praise God our Father Psalm 131 Worship

Reading : Verses from Psalm 131


O Lord, my heart is not lifted up,
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvellous for me.
But I have calmed and quietened my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
my soul is like the weaned child that is with me.

O Israel, hope in the Lord
from this time on and for evermore.

(Church in Wales Lectionary New Revised Standard Version)


This is another of those Songs of Ascent, Psalms that were sung by pilgrims approaching Jerusalem or by Levites approaching the Temple. But there is something odd about it. Today, in the Eucharist the priest says "Lift up your hearts!" at the beginning of the great Thanksgiving prayer and we answer "We lift them to the Lord!" This seems to instruct us to put on one side all our worldly concerns and to worsip God. But in Psalm 131 David thinks of this as a wrong way to approach God.

In the Hebrew Scriptures (our Old Testament) we learn that to lift our heart to God is to show pride and arrogance, the worshipper will lift their arms in worship but the image of lifting the heart indicates the opposite to being humble. The worshipper should lift their soul to God, which is what we are asked to do in our worship. The psalmist also says he is like the 'weaned child', that is one who is learning to be separated from their mother, who is learning about the world and standing on their own feet, but nevertheless still needs their mother. The image for us is one of learning to live as Christians in the world, but able to rely on God's protection and assistance when we need it.

So when we worship we should come in humble supplication, lifting our souls with serenity, to calmly praise and bless our Heavenly Father, trusting in Him for all our needs.


Heavenly Father,
we lift our souls in praise and worship
to You this day.
Teach us to know that You are
the hope of all the world.
May we quieten our hearts,
put our selfish needs on one side,
and bless You for all Your goodness.

Follow Up Thoughts

Look up this site if you want to learn aboout being humble. It has cartoon style pictures:

Return to index