Praying the Psalms

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This devotional is written by Caroline Ford.  Caroline is an actress, aspiring painter and lover of cheese who has been at St Mary's for 10 years now. 

Psalm 103

Psalm 103 Of David.

1 Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. 2 Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits - 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

6 The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.

7 He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: 8 the Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. 9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbour his anger for ever; 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; 14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. 15 The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; 16 the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. 17 But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children - 18 with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.

19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.

20 Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. 21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will. 22 Praise the Lord, all his works everywhere in his dominion.

Praise the Lord, my soul.

Reflection

I love this psalm. Every line is full of Gods love. It's as if his goodness and light shine through the words. It says forget not his benefits, words that speak to me so much. It's easy in the midst of tough, heavy or busy times to forget to praise God and even to forget why we praise him. This psalm is such a powerful reminder to us of who God is. How good he is. He is the God that loves us as far as the heavens are above the earth. The God who sees our lives and our mistakes and mess and is compassionate and gracious. Because he is abounding in love. That is who God is. He loves me and you an incredible, indescribable amount.

The psalm starts - praise the lord, my soul. not my mind or my words but my soul. For me it makes a big difference to think about praising God from my sprit, my soul.

God would you fill us to the depths of our souls now with your love.

Psalm 103 says As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Let's remember the magnitude of this statement afresh today. We don't have to hold onto our mistakes, because the creator of the world has taken them from us, we are free and forgiven.

He redeems your life from the pit. For me that means our deepest sorrows, regrets and mistakes he redeems them and washes them away. God uses them for good. The God who has everything in his dominion know you and loves you. So let's praise him, because he is so worthy. I have always found that when I focus on being thankful and praising God, my soul opens, joy floods in. I remember who God is and I feel connected to him again.

God today would you teach us how to be compassionate, loving and forgiving like you.

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