Posted by: davidlarkin | January 7, 2016

Morning Praises – God Inhabits the Praises of His People

Sunrise-large“Sunrise” by George Inness (American,  1825–1894)  Date: 1887

The King James Bible translates Psalm 22:3 as

But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

Psalm 22:3 King James Version (KJV)

From this translation, Christians commonly say that God inhabits the praises of his people.  Modern translations generally translate this verse differently, as God enthroned on the praises of His people.  For example,

Yet You are holy, O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel.

Psalm 22:3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises.

Psalm 22:3 New International Version (NIV)

Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.

Psalm 22:3 English Standard Version (ESV)

Regardless of the translation, the message of the King James Version is a faithful representation of the relationship between God and His people when they praise Him.  Of course, God does not need praise.  He has no self-esteem issues.  However, when Christians praise God, we recognize His amazing work of Creation, His constant work in the world and our redemption and salvation in the sacrificial and atoning work of Jesus Christ.  When we praise God, He is present in our consciousness, as He is always present in our lives and in the world around us when we are not conscious of His presence.  Thus, when we praise God, He becomes present in each of our conscious lives in our acts of praise.

Praising God often comes spontaneously when some good thing happens, or we are saved from sudden peril, “Praise the Lord” or “Praise God” we might exclaim when we hear good news or just miss getting hit by a another car in traffic who cuts us off, or more likely, when we just miss hitting another car when we we are inattentive in switching lanes.

I have included a prayer of praise in my morning prayers.  I adapted this prayer of praise from the “Day 7 Morning” prayer in John Baillie’s A Diary of Private Prayer, 1949 version.   There is a fine updated 2014 version of Baillie’s A Diary of Private Prayer which I now use each day.  It was edited by Susanna Wright who was chosen by John Baillie’s son, Ian, to edit the update.

Here is the morning praise I use in my morning devotions.  In addition to praise, it has reminders to consider those who are suffering in the world, e.g., the blind, the sick, the grieving, and I have added to Baillie’s list those who are mentally ill.

Morning Praise

O Lord and Maker of all things, from whose creative power the first light came forth, who looked upon the world’s first morning and saw that it was good, I praise You for this light that now streams through my windows to rouse me to the life of another day.

I praise You for the life that stirs within me;
I praise you for the bright and beautiful world into which I go;
I praise you for earth, sea and sky – billowing clouds and singing birds;
I praise you for the work You have given me to do, and for your provision;
I praise you for all You have given me to fill my time of prayer and Bible study and my leisure hours;
I praise you for ______ and ______ and my family, our pets and my friends;
I praise you for music and books and good company.

O Lord who is everlasting Mercy, give me a tender heart today toward all those to whom this morning light brings less joy than it brings to me:

Those in whom the pulse of life grows weak;
Those who must lie in bed through all the sunny hours;
The blind who are shut off from the light of day;
Those who suffer from distorted reality and evil due to unsound mind and mental illness;
The overworked who have no joy of leisure;
The unemployed who have no joy of labor;
The bereaved whose hearts and homes are desolate,
And grant Your mercy on them all.

O Light that never fades, as the light of day streams through these windows and floods this room, so let me open to you the windows of my heart that all my life may be filled by the radiance of Your presence. Let no corner of my being be unlit by the light of Your countenance. Let there be nothing within me to darken the brightness of the day. Let the Spirit of Him whose life was the light of men rule within my heart all this day. Amen.

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