Everything That Breathes

Hallelujah!
Praise God in his sanctuary.
Praise him in his mighty expanse.
Praise him for his powerful acts;
praise him for his abundant greatness.

Praise him with trumpet blast;
praise him with harp and lyre.
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and flute.
Praise him with resounding cymbals;
praise him with clashing cymbals.

Let everything that breathes praise the Lord.
Hallelujah!

Psalm 150

I love reading the Psalms. When I was younger, I did not appreciate them as much. I did not really enjoy them as much as reading the parts of the Bible that talked about miracles and battles and heroes of the faith. But as I grew older, I began to connect with the emotions that characterize many of the different Psalms — joy and sadness, triumph and defeat, determination and desperation, and running through it all a sense of awe and thankfulness for the grace and mercy of God. This collection of ancient poems and song lyrics speaks to every part of the human experience and it is comforting to know that the emotions you feel or the struggles you face are normal.

The book ends ends on a joyous note with the simple psalm listed above. It reminds us that we should always be engaged in worship. It is why we were created, and no one is exempt from the command. When you read through the book, the writers of the various Psalms demonstrate how it is possible to praise the Lord regardless of your circumstances, so we really have no excuse!

Let’s take a look at why worship is so important:

1. It is deeply ingrained in who you are.

Hammers are made for hammering. Computers are made for computing. People are made for worship. It’s a part of your design. If you are not worshiping, you are not performing one of your primary tasks! Is it any wonder that so many feel empty and unfulfilled when they are neglecting one of their most basic functions?

2. It ensures that you maintain perspective.

When we worship, we begin to realize the immensity and majesty of our Creator and the smallness of our individual part in his creation. It helps us find our place, our purpose, and it reminds us that God is so much bigger than all of those big, scary, hairy problems that we face.

3. It inoculates us against negative thinking and speech.

It is very difficult to praise your Creator with one breath and then turn around and bite the head off of a family member or co-worker. Worship elevates the mind and lifts you above petty conflicts, jealousies, and hurt feelings. When we worship negative thoughts and emotions can’t find purchase in our souls.

4. It unites us with each other and with the rest of creation.

When we participate in worship, we are just singing along with the sun, moon, stars, oceans, mountains, plants, animals and creepy crawlies. They all proclaim God’s glory. And when we worship, we are joining believers all around the world, from many different nations and cultures. It unites us despite our differences, and unity is something that is needed now more than ever!

This is by no means an exhaustive list and we could find many more reasons for or benefits derived from worship. It’s better than multi-vitamins, diet, exercise or any self-help regimen ever devised to get you on the right track. The great part is that we don’t have to wait until Sunday to get started. You can worship right now, wherever you are!

I encourage you to make some time today to engage in worship. Whether it’s during your commute or in your office, blaring through your stereo system or straight to your brain with headphones, during your quiet time or dancing around while you do your chores, there is no better activity to set the tone of your day!

PRAYER: Father, we stand in awe of Your majesty and power. We are overwhelmed by the splendor of Your creation and the never-ending grace and mercy that You constantly display. Your praise will forever be on our lips. Amen!

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