Psalm 103 (NRSV)
1 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name.
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and do not forget all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good as long as you live
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The Lord works vindication
and justice for all who are oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far he removes our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion for his children,
so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.
14 For he knows how we were made;
he remembers that we are dust.
15 As for mortals, their days are like grass;
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
18 to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.
19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
obedient to his spoken word.
21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
his ministers that do his will.
22 Bless the Lord, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.
Training for ministry over the past few years I found it was easy to become overly consumed by study and placements. God, if I was not careful became ‘a job,’ another task to be completed.
And it isn’t just student ministers who might feel like this. Many of us are extremely busy, juggling family and work commitments; modern living is busy and stressful. So, despite our best intentions we can struggle to make time for reading the Bible, praying or just sitting in the presence of the Lord.
In the psalm today, the phrase ‘Praise the Lord’ is repeated six times. The psalmist reminds us what God does for us. To help me be consciously present with the Lord I try every day to praise God and thank him for all he does for me throughout each day. Thank you, Lord, for this beautiful breakfast, thank you Lord for clean water to wash, thank you Lord for helping me find a parking space, thank you Lord for the laughter of my child, thank you Lord it stayed dry, so my washing could dry, thank you Lord for helping ease my sorrow, thank you Lord.
Today I set you the challenge of being present and offering your praise to God. You can either try and do it continuously throughout the day or you might prefer to take time and reflect in the evening and give thanks to God for the many blessings throughout your day. I’ll leave it up to you!
I praise you Lord
And I thank you,
For you are,
So good to me.