Psalm 103: Praying Through The Psalms

Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits–who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases (Ps. 103:1-3). 

Lord, it is good to give you praise. For you are holy, wise, majestic, and gracious. My soul sings to you like a blue-jay waking up before the eager sun. My soul longs to be in your presence so my cup can be overflowing with your abundance. 

You forgive all our sins. When we confess our sins one to another, you are faithful and just to forgive and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. There are sins I am ashamed of. Please blot out these transgressions. Cover me in your Son’s righteousness. For without Christ, I am unclean.

Who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s (Ps. 103:4-5). 

Heavenly Father, you redeemed us from the pit. When we were drowning in sin and sorrow, you rescued us. When we were entrenched in unholy living and serving our carnal nature, you kindly rebuked us. It was the fear of the Lord that gave us wisdom to turn from our sins so you could crown us with love and compassion. 

Your compassion is limitless. Even while we were still sinners, you sent your Son Jesus to die on the cross for us. He who knew no sin became sin for us so that we might receive the righteousness of Christ. This is the great exchange. This is the good news that God saves sinners.

O Lord, surely you renew our spirits. Your mercies are new every morning. Our youth is renewed like the eagle’s. When we abide in your presence, our confidence and strength can soar higher than the rest of the world. Like an eagle on top of a tall mountain, you have given us the wings to fly safely back to your strong right arm.

The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love (Ps. 103:6-8).

Almighty God, you are morally upright. You love truth and hate falsehood. As a Judge, you demand righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. For you tell us in your word that a pure and undefiled religion is to help out the poor and the oppressed. Therefore, we know you will protect the vulnerable and keep accountable all those who harm the weak. 

Yahweh, you made your ways known to Moses. In the burning bush, you told Moses to go to Egypt and tell the Pharaoh to let the Israelites free from captivity. Your deeds are known to the people of Israel, for you parted the Red Sea for them. You brought them out of the land of Egypt to Canaan, a place overflowing with milk and honey. 

O Lord, you are compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love. You do not treat us like others who lose their temper. You are patient and kind to us. Help us to cultivate these attributes into our daily lives. May we not allow anger to bubble up inside. If we are tempted, please come and rescue us. For we are needy people.  

He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far as he removed our transgressions from us (Ps. 103:9-12). 

King of glory, you have every right to be angry with our sins. For we are a rebellious creation. However, you will not always accuse or harbor your anger. You extend mercy and grace. You do not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 

In fact, you put the sins of the world upon your righteous Son, Jesus Christ, in order to fulfill your righteous indignation. Though the Son suffered in our place, you spared millions from your wrath. Thank you for being extremely merciful.

How far is the east from the west? Well, they are in opposite directions. You have casted our sin so far from us. O Lord, you do not count them against us anymore. This is such good news. No longer do we need to live in fear and guilt. When we look up to the stars in heaven, we know there is a Creator who has removed our transgressions from us. This helps me sleep at night. Praise be to God! 

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust (Ps. 103:13-14).

Holy God, thank you for being a wonderful father. You are compassionate and gracious to your children. We fear you in a reverent and respectful way. Just like a person would show reverence to a king, how much more should we be reverent to the King of Kings? You are majestic in holiness. Our minds can’t comprehend how powerful you truly are.

You breathed into us the breath of life from the dust. We then became a living soul. You know our origin, how we are vulnerable and fragile creatures. Without your intervention and life giving spirit, we are not able to move, live, and have our being. What an incredible thought to ponder. 

The life of mortals is like grass, the flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children, with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts (Ps. 103:15-18). 

We are contingent beings. Without you, the brilliant stars, galaxies, planets, sea creatures, animals, and human life itself cease to exist. For you are the only Necessary being in the universe. You are the unchanging, Immortal God. Praise be to your name! 

From everlasting to everlasting you are God. Your love is with those who fear you. Your grace extends to believers who keep your covenant and remember to obey your precepts. Your Law was written to Moses at Mount Sinai. Now, they are written on our hearts. 

Jesus, you told us that you came, not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. You perfectly obeyed the Father’s righteous commandments. May we follow you in this endeavor. May we uphold the Law in everything we do. 

For you said, “If you love me, you will obey my commands.” Therefore, through our obedience, we show our love and commitment to you, knowing full well that it is by grace we are saved through faith. For faith without works is useless. For what does it profit a man if he says he has faith but not works, can that faith save him? Of course not. Our obedience proves that we have faith. 

The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word (Ps. 103:19-20). 

Most righteous King, your throne is in heaven. May your kingdom come. Your will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven. O Lord, I long for your kingdom to be established. For the world today is full of injustice, hatred, malice, and deceit. We need a king who is omnibenevolent. The world needs a commander in chief who loves righteousness and hates wickedness. While we wait in expectation for this great day, our hearts sing with the angels, “Praise the Lord!” 

Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will. Praise the Lord, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the Lord, my soul (Ps. 103:21-22).  

Yes, Heavenly Father. I will praise the Lord. I will share your works throughout the world. For you told us to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. The gospel is the good news that God saves sinners. May we be committed servants, wholly devoted to proclaiming this great truth to all who will listen. If no one listens, my soul will still exclaim, “Praise the Lord!”

© Chad Damitz, 2020

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