Our inside-out habits: We pray. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in generosity and service.
A PERSONAL PRAYER
Today I spot your mighty works everywhere I look. In this moment, I pray on the patio as the dawn approaches, and the sky grows light. The humid air feels like your arms holding me close, the birds your voice bidding me good morning. The coffee tastes good. The night refreshed me, and daybreak feels an opportunity for a new start. So I praise you, and give you thanks for all that is good around me.
I praise your name, your character, because you are so good. I stand in awe of your love. I am overcome with amazement at your incredible creation and the miracles you do all around me all the time.
There are other days, God, when I don’t feel so full of thanksgiving. These are days when it doesn’t feel like all is well in my own life, when I notice the works of darkness rather than your works of light, both in my own decisions and in the world around me. These are days that praise and thanksgiving don’t come as naturally to me.
And on those days, it is so much harder for me to praise you. On those days, I must offer a “sacrifice of praise,” because I know that the discipline of daily praise and thanksgiving will lead my life. My prayers will lead my heart back to what you do rather than what I do.
So, no matter what, I praise your name, your character, because you are so good. I stand in awe of your love. I am overcome with amazement at your incredible creation and the miracles you do all around me all the time.
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
As part of the “Banners for Santa Fe” effort through Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston, St. Luke’s will have a banner hanging in the Fellowship Walk this Sunday. Take a moment to sign the banner before it is delivered to Aldersgate UMC to let them know that when one suffers, we all share in that suffering.
This Sunday, June 3, we begin a new sermon series called “How to Pray the Psalms.” The great pastor and martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer called the Psalms “the prayer book of the Bible.” At the same time, it was the hymnal for the people of Israel. In it, we find the words to express our deepest hopes and fears to be sung and prayed. Our first message in the series will look at the psalms of praise and thanksgiving with a message called “All the Time.”
KEY VERSE FOR THE WEEK
Every day I will bless you, and praise your name forever and ever.- Psalm 145:2
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION AND REFLECTION
What makes you say wow? How do you practice praise and thanksgiving daily?
Sunday, June 3 – Psalm 145:13-14, 21
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations. The Lord is faithful in all his words, and gracious in all his deeds. The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, and all flesh will bless his holy name forever and ever.
Monday, June 4 – Psalm 112:1-3
Praise the Lord. Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in his commands. His children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever.
Tuesday, June 5 – Psalm 146:1-2
Praise the Lord! Happy are those who fear the Lord, who greatly delight in his commandments. Their descendants will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in their houses, and their righteousness endures forever.
Wednesday, June 6 – Psalm 60:5
Give victory with your right hand, and answer us, so that those whom you love may be rescued.
Thursday, June 7 – Psalm 71:19-21
… and your righteousness, O God, reach the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God, who is like you? You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth, you will bring me up again. You will increase my honor, and comfort me once again.
Friday, June 8 – Psalm 92:4-5
For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy. How great are your works, O Lord! Your thoughts are very deep!
Saturday, June 9 – Psalm 4:1
Answer me when I call, O God of my right! You gave me room when I was in distress. Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer.