Monday, August 27, 2018

Seven Times A Day


As I was reading Psalm 119, I became fascinated by verse 164, which says "Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments."

Recall that this is the longest chapter in the Bible with 176 verses, where practically every verse highlights the attributes of God's Word, all from the very personal perspective of its author.

The Word of God can literally save a life: George Wishart was the Bishop of Edinburgh in the 17th century. Wishart was condemned to death and would have been executed. But when he was on the scaffold, he made use of a custom that allowed the condemned person to choose one psalm to be sung, and he chose Psalm 119. Before two-thirds of the psalm was sung, his pardon arrived, and his life was spared. [Source: blueletterbible.org]

Back to verse 164 - what makes a person so emphatic in their declaration of praise? Well, one quick answer is already noted in the verse - it's because of God's righteous judgments. He has seen that God has always done right by Him; He has never left or abandon him.


But there's more. The frequency of praise speaks of devotion; it indicates that God is top of mind and that if He's not, he becomes so. This may be a mechanism to allay anxiety and refocus. Praising God so often elevates his spirit while acknowledging the sovereignty of God. His praise - whether it is a word, a phrase, a thought a song or a long prayer happens with notable frequency. Regardless of the length of his praise, it is often. It allows the psalmist to starve the flesh and feed the spirit. It equips him to handle what is before him or be grateful for what he's just walked through because the writer of this Psalm like us, had seen his share of troubles.

In trying to take this verse literally, I became aware of how often I could praise God throughout the day. I definitely started my day with praise and often did the same at the end of the day. That left five times throughout the remainder of the day, and the precise among us may figure that to be every three hours. The more cognizant I became for the opportunity to praise, the more I did so. It was freeing, and I lost count. I realize that there are opportunities to praise God throughout a day at every turn: when I wake up because I am alive; when I go outside to get the newspaper and absorb the quiet beauty of nature in the morning. The mess my daughter makes in her room leads to praise because she has a room; dirty dishes lead to praise because I have a sink and I have a family; my family with all their quirks.

Opportunities for praise abound. Other religions have an obligation to prayer, a certain number of times daily, facing a particular direction. God makes no such requirement of us. You can exceed your seven times within an hour! Seven is not a limit, but a benchmark as to what the writer noted in his life.

It was in the process of being cognizant and being aware, that praising God with regular frequency became a habit. Like the psalmist, I strive to say, "Seven times a day I will praise you because of your righteous judgments." (Psalm 119:164)

And my tongue shall declare Your righteousness And Your praise all day long. Psalm 35:28

Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant and praise is becoming. Psalm 147:1

Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. 
James 5:13

How often do you praise? Do you have a reason to praise God?

--Nylse

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5 comments:

  1. I love your thought here, that we don't have to pray or praise at a precise moment throughout the day and limit it to only 7 times. We can praise Him all through the day especially if we are looking for His presence in our lives. Thank you for an inspiring post.

    Blessings to you! I'm your neighbor at #TestimonyTuesday.

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  2. Praise and worship is such a vital part of being a Christian. If I'm not praising God I can feel it. It is a part of my life. God is so good. Thank you for this wonderful post.

    Christina
    www.SheWhoHonors.com

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  3. Love this! I don't think I've ever taken note of the 7 times a day before. laurensparks.net

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  4. Very inspiring Nylse! Thank you for that challenge, you know I actually have no idea how many times a day I praise the Lord!
    I will take note now!

    You're most welcome to drop by for a cuppa,
    Jennifer

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  5. I think of "Pray without ceasing." Seven times or 70...giving God the glory and humbling ourselves before Him. Hallelujah!
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

    @ Being Woven http://beingwoven.org

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