Psalm 66:8-20 New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
8Praise our God, all you nations.
Let the sound of the praise you give him be heard.
9He has kept us alive.
He has kept our feet from slipping.
10God, you have tested us.
You put us through fire to make us like silver.
11You put us in prison.
You placed heavy loads on our backs.
12You let our enemies ride their chariots over our heads.
We went through fire and water.
But you brought us to a place
where we have everything we need.
13I will come to your temple with burnt offerings.
I will keep my promises to you.
14I made them with my lips.
My mouth spoke them when I was in trouble.
15I will sacrifice fat animals to you as burnt offerings.
I will offer rams, bulls and goats to you.
16Come and hear, all you who have respect for God.
Let me tell you what he has done for me.
17I cried out to him with my mouth.
I praised him with my tongue.
18If I had enjoyed having sin in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.
19But God has surely listened.
He has heard my prayer.
20Give praise to God.
He has accepted my prayer.
He has not held back his love from me.
Today’s Scripture is Psalm 66:8-20. Throughout this psalm is the word praise. What does praise mean to you? Today, I want you to give praise to God. I will ask you to complete a sentence with one word. When you answer, you can stand up and wave “jazz hands” as you complete the sentence. This psalm also reminds us that is about all of us, not just one of us as it says “we” go through life together. I want to invite anyone in this space to participate, not just those of us here at the altar. (Prepare adults by asking beforehand if they will participate in this message, so they are not caught off guard. Find adults who will be comfortable in this moment. Encourage the pastor or worship leader to participate.)
Here is the sentence. When you have your one-word answer to complete the sentence, stand up and shout praises to God. “I should praise God because God is _______.”
(After several people participate, ensuring that some adults respond, end with prayer and then invite each person to state that one-word again in lieu of Amen.)
Today, O God, we give you praise. Thank you for hearing our prayers. Thank you for these words of the psalmist who reminds us to give you praise. We should praise you because you (collectively) are ____________.