Week 52 Wednesday

The Breath of Praise

Today’s scripture selection: Psalms 149-150

Key verse: Psalm 150:6

“Don’t waste your breath!”

Have you ever said that to anyone?

Usually, we say it half in warning; half in exasperation – telling someone that he or she is wasting time trying to get a particular point across.

“Don’t waste your breath,” we say as we shake our heads – “it won’t do any good.”

But you know – there is a kind of breath that can make a great deal of difference in our tired, old world: the breath of praise.

Here’s how the Psalmist put it several thousand years ago:

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!”

Can you imagine what a different world it would be if everyone – everything – that has breath spent it praising their Creator?

No more bitter arguments; no more self-absorbed complaining; no more hate-filled accusations; no more wailing in sorrow.

Instead, our breath would be spent lifting songs of praise to God.

It sounds almost ridiculous; a Pollyannaish view of some perfect world.

Yet, the Psalmist dared to believe that one day – by God’s grace – it could and would happen.

So, the next time you feel a little “out of breath” – consider this.

Could it be better spent with a word of gratitude; a prayer of thanksgiving; a small utterance of holy devotion?

Do that – and you may find that you – and others – are refreshed in a whole, new, wonderful way.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for your gracious love; may my voice lift up praises to you, again and again.  AMEN.

 

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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