The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.
Prayer – praise – and proclamation. We know about the first two, but we don’t as often attend to the third.
There is so much said in Scripture about saying the things that matter.
In Romans 10:9 we discover one of the very, very few strictures concerning the evidence of our salvation. We confess with our mouths what we believe in our hearts, and the confessing looks pretty important:
…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
“I will say to my soul …” (Psalm 42:11 … and it’s “don’t be discouraged” that was said, by the way!)
“I will sing …” (of His mercies, because my heart is steadfast, I will make music with all my soul … Psalm 89:1, 57:7, 108:1, to name a few)
I said to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from You I have no good thing.”
Prayer and praise and proclamation go together when we bring ourselves before the Throne of Grace. Together we are a House of Prayer, not of transcendental thought … this is NOT AT ALL to indicate that all prayer or praise must be proclaimed always. No. Certainly not. However …
It is important, perhaps crucial, to learn when to speak, and that at times, when God causes His glorious voice to be heard, it is sounded with our lips. (Isaiah 30:30)
Now, this. We have spoken before about what it takes to lift your hands to God for the first time. To go to others for prayer for the first time. It’s like slogging through mud! To sing or worship aloud, in your own house, doors shut, nobody at home, can take a tremendous initial effort … so great that some never, ever manage it.
It is wise to ask, why. Why should we feel that way in the privacy of our own homes? Is it because we think it is wrong to sing? Of course not! Are we ashamed of our voices, even our speaking voices? No … not before God! There is a timidity that is not a praiseworthy character trait in Scripture – Revelation 21:8! – and that is what we must address.
When believers lift holy hands to God, it is commended. (1 Timothy 2:8). It is very right! But “something” has to be shifted, disturbed, pushed back in order for our more demonstrative worship to break forth. Even for those who have prayed and worshiped aloud, we must press on and press in!
So then, we proclaim the Word of Grace, the Word of Truth, so that our own ears are privileged and blessed to hear them, so that our own hearts are strengthened, and so that the Word will go forth and not return void to the Lord. (Isaiah 55:11, NASB)
So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
Try it today. Speak, sing, proclaim aloud the words above from Psalm 19. Open your Bible and read the whole Psalm out loud. Speak it to God; say those eternal words to your own soul; say them to someone you love, far away. When we are finished, that quickly, I do not think that we will feel ashamed or timid, but honest and bold.
The decrees of the Lord ARE firm, and so are we in our faith as we begin to speak in accordance with them.
Demosthenes leaving the Assembly in shame after his first failure at public speaking – we, on the other hand, cannot fail to speak brilliantly when we speak the Word of the Lord in the love and the hope of Jesus Christ!
Walter Crane, life of the artist, Wikipedia, by permission