The Power to Praise God

Yael Eckstein  |  October 1, 2023

Five individuals raising their hands while looking over the sunset.

My tongue will proclaim your righteousness,
    your praises all day long
. — Psalm 35:28

We start out every week with an inspirational lesson from the beloved Psalms. For centuries, these ancient poems of King David and others have been the foundation for Jewish and Christian worship. Enjoy!

Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, an 18th century Hasidic master from Ukraine, used to say, “If you believe that you have the power to destroy, believe also that you have the power to fix.”

The underlying principle is that whatever we can accomplish for the bad can be turned into good. If we can break it, we can also fix it. If we can hurt, we can also heal. If we can make a mess out of our lives, we can also clean up our mess. For everything negative we are able to do, we can also do something positive.

I read about a man who was always unhappy and sad. In fact, he even said that when he reflected on his life, he could remember more sad days than happy ones. It seemed as if his whole life had been one long string of unfortunate events. Eager to turn his life around, he sought out the advice of his rabbi. The wise man suggested that instead of focusing on the bad things in his life, he should instead focus on the positive things. The rabbi instructed the man to give nothing but praise God all day long.

The Power to Praise God

The man liked the idea but thought that it was unrealistic. He thought that reciting praises all day might get too boring or too repetitive. The rabbi countered, “But you have no problem complaining all day long. You don’t get too tired of that. If you have the power to complain all the time, you can also use the same power to give thanks all the time.”

The man took the rabbi’s advice. At first, he tried being thankful all day, just for one day. That day turned out to be a turning point in the man’s life. His emotional and spiritual state of mind was completely different. This was the beginning of a major perspective change which had a monumental impact on his entire life. The more praise he gave, the better his life felt. Nothing had changed on the outside, but everything was different on the inside—and that made all the difference in the world.

In Psalm 35, King David ended with this: “My tongue will proclaim your righteousness, your praises all day long.” And so should we! If we have the ability to complain all day long, then we also have the power to praise god and can master the art of giving gratitude all day long. It takes just as much time and effort, but the results are vastly different.

Your Turn:

Why not try it for just one day—only speak praises and thanks to God. Let me know what happens in the comments section below. Your life may never be the same again.

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