Recently I’ve been challenging myself to memorize individual Psalms, so that I can use them as a call to worship at our weekend services. A few weeks ago I memorized Psalm 145, and was struck by just how many reasons David gives for why we should worship God.
He begins the Psalm in the first two verses by saying “I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever.”
And then the list of reasons begins for why he should extol his God and King, and why he should bless and praise God’s name:
- Because he is “great and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable” (verse 3)
- Because of his “mighty acts” (verse 4)
- Because of “the glorious splendor of (his) majesty, and… (his) wondrous works” (verse 5)
- Because of his “awesome deeds…” and his “greatness” (verse 6)
- Because of “the fame of (his) abundant goodness and… righteousness” (verse 7)
- Because he “is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” (verse 8)
- Because he “is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made” (verse 9)
- Because of “the glory of (his) kingdom, and… (his) power” (verse 11)
- Because of his “mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of (his) kingdom” (verse 12)
- Because his “kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and (his) dominion endures throughout all generations”, and because he “is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works” (verse 13)
- Because he “upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down” (verse 14)
- Because he gives everyone “their food in due season” (verse 15)
- Because he opens his hand, and satisfies “the desire of every living thing” (verse 16)
- Because he “is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works” (verse 17)
- Because he “is near to all who call on him… in truth” (verse 18)
- Because “he fulfills the desire of those who fear him” and “hears their cry and saves them” (verse 19)
- Because he “preserves all who love him” and destroys the wicked (verse 20)
Finally, after all of those reasons, he finishes the Psalm in verse 21 by saying “my mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever”.
The best kind of worship leading – all across the musical, denominational, and liturgical spectrum – is the kind of worship leading that saturates the congregation at every service with fresh reminders of the reasons why God deserves praise. When people are well-fed with a feast of the goodness of God, then they are well-served by their worship leaders, and well-prepared to stand and open their mouths to declare his praise.