Thoughts for the Day

Wednesday, 12th July 2023: "Praise the Lord!"

Praise Wisdom Thanks God Psalm 111

Reading : Psalm 111


Praise the Lord!
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
Great are the works of the Lord,
studied by all who delight in them.
Full of honour and majesty is his work,
and his righteousness endures for ever.
He has gained renown by his wonderful deeds;
the Lord is gracious and merciful.
He provides food for those who fear him;
he is ever mindful of his covenant.
He has shown his people the power of his works,
in giving them the heritage of the nations.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy.
They are established for ever and ever,
to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
He sent redemption to his people;
he has commanded his covenant for ever.
Holy and awesome is his name.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practise it have a good understanding.
His praise endures for ever.

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


Psalm 111 starts with the Hebrew word hallĕlūyāh, or as we say in English: "Praise the Lord". It is another of the acrostic psalms, where except for the first line each of the 22 lines of the psalm begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. In its original language it would have helped people to remember the individual verses. The psalm is one of a pair. Psalm 111 is an acrostic poem about God, and it's companion, Psalm 112, is an acrostic poem about the righteous man or woman.

In our everyday life, I wonder if we use praise enough? Army, Air Force, and the Navy in the UK use 'Commendations' as a way of upholding impressive work done by its servicemen and women; and schools often hold special services each week to acknowledge impressive work or activities done by children. But how often do we praise others? Often we are are quick to complain, but are we as quick to praise?

It's the same with God. We are quick to ask for help, and we can moan at Him, but how often do we praise Him with our 'whole heart'. The American theologian James Boyce once said:

  • “If we want other people to praise God, we must praise God first. If we want them to love God, we must love him too. If we want others to serve God, we must serve him. We must set an example.”


Heavenly Father,
we praise You for our world;
for the beauty and intricacy of nature;
for Your love and care of all its creatures;
for the gifts You give to us;
for Your Son who came to save us;
and for Your forgiveness of our sin.
May we never forget to praise You,
may we fill our lives with praise of You.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to play these hymns of praise:

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