Sometimes as I go to prayer I will meditate on a few Psalms. Don Whitney has spoken often about praying scripture and the Psalms are a great way to do that. A suggestion is pick a Psalm by the day of the month – so today is the 9th so I checked out Psalm 9. (You can also keep going “up” in the Psalms by adding 30 – so read also Psalm 39, 69, 99, 129…) Odds are one of these Psalms will hit you, or more accurately – the Holy Spirit will grab you. That’s why it’s so important to pray before we read the word of God – ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to what is in the text – He will do it!
It sure didn’t take long this morning for me. He nailed me in the first 2 verses:
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will recount all your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High. (ESV)
So the first thing I see is the four “I will” statements – talk about setting your mind right! The author of the Psalm is telling himself what to do. That is very important that we tell ourselves truth instead of lies. We cannot be slaves to how we feel.
- I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart – Meditate on all that you have to be thankful for and thank Him. With your inner person, your core, your whole self.
- I will recount your wonderful deeds – “recount” – KJV says “I will shew forth” – another meaning of the Hebrew here is “rehearse” – So, resolve to rehearse, to recount, to take account of His wonderful deeds – not past sin that he has paid for and is gone; not the enemies lies. Dwell on the wonderful deeds he has done. He has done them!
- I will be glad and exult in you – telling yourself how to feel. I love it, Martin Lloyd Jones would be proud! Another translation of “exult” is “rejoice.” Set your mind to be glad and take your joy in God in Jesus Christ. He has done the most wonderful deed ever by reconciling us to Himself through Jesus death on the cross. (Rom 3:21-26)
- I will sing praise to your name, O Most High – determine yourselves to praise his name in singing. Of course as a worship leader this makes me happy. We should be praising our Lord in singing – even if it’s out of our comfort zone. Focus on the truth in the lyrics of the songs and praise him with a heart full of joy. Get over your personal preferences and musical style issues and praise the One that is higher than us all. [I expanded on this rant in an earlier post…]
Now, don’t feel like doing any of these? Great! Pray that you will. Pray that God will enable you, through the Holy Spirit to give thanks to Him with your WHOLE heart, recount his wonderful deeds – start thinking of them…naming them. I’ll bet you’ll start to become glad and exult in Him, focus on Jesus in the ultimate expression of the Father’s goodness, mercy, grace, and love for us. And sing. Even if you can’t and even if you may not like the style or the worship leader’s hair (or lack thereof). Sing out with a heart full of the joy of God.