Psalm 103:1-5 says: Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits;3 who pardons all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases;4 who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;5 who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.
For most of my growing up years, my grandfather was the only pastor that I knew. He was a great teacher of scripture and a huge spiritual influence in my life. My mom would often pick me up from school and take me to meet him at the church where I would tag along for nursing home and shut-in visits.
My grandfather was also a prayer warrior. He was not the guy you wanted to call on to pray before the meal because he prayed…long prayers…that would only frustrate me and my cousins because we were starving and ready to eat. His prayer life influenced my life greatly.
One afternoon, when I was probably 7-8 years old, my mom dropped me off to spend time with my grandfather. I guessed that we would probably head out for some visits and then finish it off with ice cream. As I walked into his office, he was not there. I began to search around the church, and I remember walking down a pretty dark hallway, then I heard his voice. I followed the sound of his voice into the worship center. I thought he was having a conversation with someone, but I did not see anyone else in the room. I moved where I could see him, but he could not see me. He was laying out on the floor praying. He was in deep conversation with the Lord! Not wanting to interrupt him, I sat down and listened as best a 7-8-year-old fidgety boy could. I had never seen or heard anyone pray like this.
Soon came my introduction to Psalm 103. As he continued to pray, he quoted the first five verses and then began to talk to the Lord specifically about verse 2. His focus was on not wanting to forget any of the Lord’s benefits. He began listing the benefits included in Psalm 103 and recalling times in his life where God has met a need in his or his families lives. He thanked God and acknowledged God’s work and faithfulness.
In verses 3-5 we find the following benefits:
- He forgives our sin. (v 3)
- Heals our sickness/disease according to His plan. (v 3)
- Provides deliverance from the pit/death. (v 4)
- Fills our lives with love and mercy (v 4)
- Sustains us with everything we need for life. (v 5)
- Note – there are more listed in from verse 6 to the end of the chapter. Take a few minutes and read it and list more benefits of the Lord.
How often we forget!
Sometimes it’s just age. The older we get, the more I forget. That’s real. I understand that more and more every day, but it cannot be an excuse for forgetting all that God has done and continues to do for me.
Sometimes it’s pace of life. Pace of life affects all of us. We live in a world that moves at break-neck speed where we take little time to just stop and think about the goodness of our God. We need to slow down and reflect on all that God does in us and for us.
My grandfather FINALLY finished his prayer. He got on his knees and then stood up to find his grandson sitting on the floor by the organ. He took the opportunity to talk about prayer and about all the things I have in my life to be thankful for. As we headed toward the car to go visit, he said, “Jay, never forget all that God has done for you!”
I encourage you to take a few minutes and think about all of the things that God has done and continues to do for you and thank Him.