Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
Psalm 147:1-20, “Praise the LORD. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise Him! The LORD builds up Jerusalem; He gathers the exiles of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit. The LORD sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground. Sing to the LORD with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp. He covers the sky with clouds; He supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills. He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call. His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor His delight in the legs of the warrior; the LORD delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love. Extol the LORD, Jerusalem; praise your God, Zion. He strengthens the bars of your gates and blesses your people within you. He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat. He sends His command to the earth; His word runs swiftly. He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes. He hurls down His hail like pebbles. Who can withstand His icy blast? He sends His word and melts them; He stirs up His breezes, and the waters flow. He has revealed His word to Jacob, His laws and decrees to Israel. He has done this for no other nation; they do not know His laws. Praise the LORD.”
Psalm 147 is one of five psalms that close out the book of Psalms. Sometimes these psalms are referred to as the Hallelujah Chorus because all five of the psalms begin and end with “Praise the Lord”. The word for “Praise the LORD” is “Hallelujah”. You could read the opening line of this psalm like this, “Hallelujah. How good it is to praise the LORD…”
Also notice that there is no petition in this psalm or the other four psalms…all focus on praise. This psalm is focused on offering praise to God for sustaining all things, for His grace in healing the afflicted believers, and for giving them His Word.
As I think of the word “hallelujah,” I can’t help but think of Earnest Alexander. He says “hallelujah” all the time. The more he says it, the more excited he becomes! He is a joy to be around. Being around him, one thing you’ll notice is that he is a man of praise…and rightly so! He has seen God move in His life in many miraculous ways, far too many to mention here.
The funny thing is that Earnest has never had a life on Easy Street; his life has been full of challenges. Yet, he has never lost sight of his calling to care for the fatherless.
Why is this? It’s because of what Christ Jesus has done for him.
If Earnest was to read this psalm, my assumption is that he would remember the times God restored Him when all seemed hopeless, the times when nothing else but the providence of God could explain what happened, the times of pure delight in God, and the times God revealed His Word to him in powerful ways. Reading this psalm, reflecting on God’s character, and all the ways large and small that He has moved in his life, I’m sure Earnest would break out in courses of “HALLELUJAH!” He would call out to us to join him in praise because of God’s grace and His greatness.
God is great…He is worthy of our praise, along with all of creation’s praise.
Read over the psalm again…think about the times He has healed your broken heart. Think about His strength, His power, and His providence in your life. Think about the times He has revealed Himself to you through His Word.
Now take time to praise Him.
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.