The old hymn reminds us to count our many blessings, seeing what God has done. Good advice. That’s another way of saying that if you think about it for awhile, there’s so much to thank God for!
I remember at our church’s weekly prayer group, one of the hardest things I would ask them to do (it always frustrated me, and no one ever did it, ever), was to spend the entire hour praising the Lord while asking for nothing…for yourself or anyone else. Couldn’t get past the first minute or two! Try it sometime. On your own.
I’m no different than anyone else. Praising and thanking God, I’m just waiting to jump in, pestering Him with some new request of mine. Have you heard the story about St. Francis of Assisi, who was out riding horse with a friend? The friend was bragging about never being distracted in prayer. St. Francis challenged him to say the Lord’s Prayer without a distraction. If he could, St. Francis would give him his horse. The friend started to pray, ‘Our Father, who art in heaven…’ Then abruptly stopped, looked over at St. Francis, asking him if he could have the saddle, too!
Psalm 103 begins–‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name!’ Seven times this psalm has that phrase ‘Bless the Lord…’ Seven times. That perfect biblical number. Perfect way to praise Him is to bless His name. The opposite would be to take His name in vain(one of the 10 Commandments).
I wonder how else we can bless Him? Certainly, not shaming His holy name as with a damning curse or glibly saying ‘OMG’. Check out those 10 Commandments. To obey God will certainly bless Him. Let me digress for a moment. Thinking of that commandment to honor your parents, I realize that ‘blind obedience’ is not what that commandment means at all. For our children and grandchildren (and generations we’ll never see or know), for each one of them, to follow the Lord and be His sincere and loving disciple, would honor us more than anything else. What an honor! Maybe this is not such a digression after all.
We bless God by committing our lives Him. That impact has no limits. How else? That’s a good question. Most of us seem to want blessings to flow our direction. Gimme…gimme…gimme. Spiritual ‘selfies’. Takers. But the question today is how we can bless God. ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name!’
How about spending a little time right now thanking and praising Him. Try it–our Lord will love it! ‘Bless His holy name!’
Prayer: Lord, we want to bless you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.