Praise | Psalm 57:7-11
My heart is steadfast, O God,
my heart is steadfast!
I will sing and make melody!
Awake, my glory!
Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn!
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to you among the nations.
For your steadfast love is great to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth! Psalm 57:7-11 | ESV
Teachers with a classroom of students, comedians with a Friday night crowd, and worship leaders with a sanctuary full of potential worshipers can have one thing in common: they can often feel they are vainly trying to wake the dead. Or like jump-starting a car with a battery long dead. Without jumper cables. Public worship can so easily drop into routinizing ruts of habit and going through the motions. Many stay away from public worship for the very reason that it’s felt to be forced or artificial, and so they seek more private and spontaneous expressions. But it really isn’t a question of either/or. It really is, or can and should be, both. A life filled with the practice of private worship and devotion will naturally spill over into public settings, whether of a living room filled with a small group singing its heart out or a sanctuary filled with several hundred congregants. That’s the progressive enthusiasm I hear in this Psalm – a psalm set in the historical context of David hiding in a cave from Saul; worship issues from a spring flowing from something deeper than our circumstances. The inner spring of David’s joy results in a steadfast heart that praises God in the darkness of a cave; a joy that then “awakens the dawn” as David finds himself dancing among peoples and nations. Worship moves. And the practice of public worship provides us with an opportunity to experience a divine revelry that loses consciousness of what others who witness us might see or say. I can sit in quiet reflection, basking in His love or I can leap and dance; I can stand with hands raised or lie prostrate on the floor. That is both the fruit and the root of this practice: freedom to be who I am in Him because of who he is and what he’s done.
Where do you find worship “happens” most naturally for you? Public settings? Private places? Why?
Lord, set my heart free to respond to your movements in uncalculating worship and adoration. Let it be less about exterior settings and circumstances, more about the fact that you are here, that you have spoken, that you have come and acted on our behalf. Through Jesus.
You are probably well-versed in the practice of ignoring impulses to sing to dance, to jump, to kneel in public or private worship. Intentionally embrace and unleash just one of those impulses.
For all of this week’s resources for this new series on Spiritual Disciplines including this week’s DG video, check out the Vineyard website.