My thoughts (Steve Adams):
The psalmist writes of awakening the dawn with harp and lyre, praising God for divine love, which is higher than the heavens. What a fantastic way to start the day! And, you know, when you really think about it — is the morning truly AWAKE unless God is praised? Are you? Am I?
In reality, the day is still in slumber; it is unconscious, unaware of the breadth of grace, the length of love, the depth of forgiveness, and the height of mercy — until we rise to awareness with praise. For us, as lovers of God, to praise with our voices and musical instruments from the depths of our souls should come as naturally as the morning song of a purple martin.
Why? First, I think, we long for unity with God, who is Love. Second, we become so filled with praise that it naturally comes out of our mouths. I once had a friend named Nicole. She was a Christian who brimmed with enthusiasm, and I remember her exclaiming, “Praise God!” when something good would happen. She also liked to sing a verse or two of praise songs when we were travelling somewhere in the car. And you know what? I always felt more ALIVE after spending time with her; my heart was more open to faith, to the possibilities of God. Her praise was contagious!
If you play a musical instrument or sing in a choir to praise God, then that is fantastic! For the rest of us, saying a breath prayer when we arise in the morning, during the day, or when we’re in bed relaxing to go to sleep, can transform our days from dull to vivid. And we can still sing a verse or two of praise now and then. The day may be full of challenges, some of which we don’t see how we’ll meet, but we can still praise God’s name with all that is within us (Psalm 103:1).
Thought for the day: What better way to start the day than to praise God from a steadfast heart!
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.