Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. –Psalm 103:1-5
Lists. They are many, and they make the world an easier place. First is the grocery list. If people listed down everything they needed at a grocery store before they started to shop, then chances are their expenditures are within their budget and they don’t forget a single thing. Then there’s the “today” list. If people listed down their to-do’s for the day and the don’t forget’s, then people prioritize needed tasks and save time. Then there’s the “bills” list magnetized on the refrigerator door, and the “password” list tucked in our notebooks to keep us sane in the cyber world. Lists are necessary!
When I open the Bible, there is also a number of lists. There is, of course, the genealogical list of names tracing Jesus’ ancestry, for example. There are also the lists of Israel’s twelve tribes and the number of people within each tribe. There is also the list of commands in Exodus, and the laws and rules in Deuteronomy and Numbers. Then, there is the list of wise sayings in Proverbs. There are many, many more kinds of lists found in Scripture.
From among them, I have a favorite list. This is the PRAISE list in the Book of Psalms. Take Psalm 103 for example. The Psalmist starts by commanding his own soul and everything in his being to PRAISE THE LORD. Why? He enumerates: the Lord’s name is holy; the Lord forgives sins and heals diseases; the Lord saves and gives love and compassion; He gives good things and renews strength. These are only a few descriptions of God from the first five verses of the chapter. The rest of the verses say more about God—His character and what He’s done.
It is always good for us to remember who God is and what He’s done in the past. Isn’t the Lord worthy of praise? Hasn’t God been good to us? An exercise we can do is to create our own special list of praise. When we do this, we carry with us a reminder that life is bigger than us; that God is alive; that God is good; that our day—which is God’s day for us– is filled with promise and meaning and purpose.
Some guide questions for our Praise List can be:
- Who is God to me?
- What in God’s nature has he shown Himself strong to me?
- What has God done to free me from my past?
- What is God doing now?
- How is God preparing me for the future?
- What can I thank God for?
- How is God showing His love for me?
More questions can be added, of course. These are just little prompts to get us started with our Praise List. Remember: our Praise List is meant to exalt Jesus who is worthy of praise!
If we have a habit of making different kinds of lists like the grocery list and the password list, then it will be a good habit to add the Praise List to our “list of lists.” Why not praise the Lord DAILY? It is good to give Him PRAISE!
Janina Marie Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of One Voice Magazine, a teacher of world literature, and a student of the Bible. She enjoys reflecting on life’s curve balls and plateaus. She resides in the Philippines, the country known for people who smile a lot.