Lately the Psalms I’ve been reading all begin with a dramatic declaration of praise for YHWH. I’ve been letting my attention trace praise and adoration throughout the psalms, instead of moving towards places I might otherwise highlight. Both an observation and a question came to me.
The observation: prayer about longstanding dilemmas (or freshly realized ones) angles differently if the first gesture is to praise the author of the universe. This seems one way of recalling that love of God comes before all else. It also depletes the energy we were instinctively, habitually directing towards whatever might be plaguing or preoccupying us.
It’s not so much that an immediate new answer appears to long-held or immediate questions, but more that a new spirit stands next to them. Praise of God recasts the one praising as well.
Praise of God seems the foundation of all other aspects of prayer, including the petitionary or intercessory kind.
The question: the psalmists seem a lot less shy about praising God than I am, at least outloud. What forms does praise of God take for you?
One way I’ve noticed: paying attention to something in the wider creation–or pondering its full wideness. The psalmists themselves do this over and over, though it’s not their only form of praise.
What are some of yours?