One of the meditations in my new book, A TIME TO BE BORN: Meditations on the Birth of a Child, focuses on “The Psalms,” Holy Scripture’s own book of meditations. The Psalms deal with almost anything in life you can think of. Some of you may use the “alarm clock prayer” (taken from Psalm 100) I posted on September 30 to begin the day or the week. I still recommend it.
Psalm 100 is part of a prominent theme in the Psalms: praise. I don’t know how many Psalms mention praise (Google probably knows). I do know that the praise Psalms give you a lift. They may not completely cure a down time, but they help.
When I was writing the meditation on Psalms, I read them all — first time in a long time. As I neared the end, I noticed that each of the last five Psalms, 146-150, begins and ends with “Praise the Lord.” It’s like an exclamation point for the entire psalter.
I particularly like Psalm 146 (NIV). It’s another good place to begin.
“Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, my soul. I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live…Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God. He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them — he remains faithful forever. He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow…The Lord reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord.”