April 8, 2009



By Julie Armstrong, assistant professor of American Sign Language
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 (NRSV) Scroll down for complete Scripture.

DEVOTIONAL: What do you think of when you hear or see the word “prayer”? I have to be honest, I often think of what “bad” things are going on in my life and how God needs to help me.

My pastor recently challenged the congregation with how we often pray. He suggested that we thank and praise God. I thought to myself that, yes, I do this, but not often enough. I know you probably have days, like I do, where rejoicing and thanking God is the last thing you want to do. Our mood is down, our situation is out of hand and our sorrow and guilt are overwhelming. We can relate to the writers of the psalms who often felt this way.

But no matter how low the psalmist felt, they were always honest with God. And as they talked to God their prayers ended in praise. When you don’t feel like rejoicing, tell God how you truly feel. You will find that God will give you reason to rejoice. God has given you this day to live and to serve him. Be glad!

My prayer today:

God, the breather of the stars, the Creator of the universe — you are so grand and mighty, my mind cannot grasp how wonderful and magnificent you are. Thank you for always being there for me. Thank you for being in the midst of all my struggles. You have created this day and I will rejoice and be glad in it. Amen.


SCRIPTURE: Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 (NRSV)

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his steadfast love endures for ever!

Let Israel say,
‘His steadfast love endures for ever.’
The Lord is my strength and my might;
he has become my salvation.

There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous:
‘The right hand of the Lord does valiantly;
the right hand of the Lord is exalted;
the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.’
I shall not die, but I shall live,
and recount the deeds of the Lord.
The Lord has punished me severely,
but he did not give me over to death.

Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the Lord.

This is the gate of the Lord;
the righteous shall enter through it.

I thank you that you have answered me
and have become my salvation.
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the chief cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing;
it is marvellous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.



Comments (4)

  1. Thanks for reminding me of “This is the day the Lord has made.” A good way to start my day!”

    Mary K. Mishler April 8, 2009 |
  2. Thank you for the reminder to be thankful where we are at in life no matter what may be happening in our lives.

    Judy Stutzman April 8, 2009 |
  3. Thanks for this reminder. I do notice in our church when the prayers of the people are asked for, they are almost always prayers of petition, and seldom prayers of thanksgiving and praise, and so I do try to offer the later as much as posssible.

    Tish Herries April 8, 2009 |
  4. Amen, Sister! Words to wake up to or, in my case, words to be refreshed by at the end of a long, stressful day. May I suggest that for any family “on edge” having the children and parents take turns reading portions of this psalm-it is a great veil of tranquility over the household; over the hurried dinner between practices and appointments, etc; or when tempers are ruffled and short… this verse is a lamp glowing with calmness.You have chosen these words wisely; and well-timed also; before we enter the solemnity of the next three days.
    Thank you for a beautiful interpretation on an uplifting verse!

    Jane Kohler April 8, 2009 |