One of my childhood memories is standing for great lengths of time while certain people prayed long, boring prayers. I remember asking God more than once if there was not something more important for Him to do than to listen to Mr. “whatever his name was.” Occasionally I would put my fingers over my eyes, slightly spread two of them apart and then look around to see what everyone was doing. Most of them, if I recall correctly, were slightly shifting their weight from one foot to the other trying not to disturb the person standing next to them.
It was later in life that I discovered length was not all that important when we pray. It is our sincerity and the purpose of our prayers that gets God’s attention.
Perhaps Psalms 117 was included in the Bible to make this point. It is a prayer of praise written by an unknown author. Notice also that it begins with an invitation to the Gentiles to “Laud Him” - the “Lord.” The Psalmist wants everyone to know that everyone is invited to worship Yahweh.
And after the invitation the Psalmist gives a reason for this special call to worship: “For great is His love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.” Then he shouts in gratitude: “Praise the Lord.”
The Psalmist made a special effort to announce the fact that all nations are included in this call to worship. It is echoed in the words of Jesus: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Prayer: We thank You, Father, for Your great love and faithfulness that is limitless, all inclusive and everlasting. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 117 Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.