Morning & Evening Devotional Reading–
by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and edited by W. C. Neff
“I will praise you, O Lord.”
Praise should always follow answered prayer just as the mist of earth’s gratitude rises when the sun of heaven’s love warms the ground. Has the Lord been gracious to you and listened to your prayers? Then praise him as long as you live. Let the ripe fruit drop upon the fertile soil from which it drew its life. Don’t deny a song to him who has answered your prayer and given you the desire of your heart. To be silent over God’s mercies is to incur the guilt of ingratitude; it is to act as basely as the nine lepers who, after they had been cured of their leprosy, failed to return and thank the healing Lord.
To forget to praise God is to refuse to benefit ourselves, for praise, like prayer, is one great means of promoting the growth of the spiritual life. It helps to remove our burdens, to excite our hope, to increase our faith. It’s a healthful and invigorating exercise that causes the believer’s pulse to rise and encourages him for fresh enterprises in his Master’s service.
To bless God for mercies received is also the way to benefit our fellow-men: “The humble shall hear of it and be glad.” Others who have been in the same kind of circumstances will take comfort if we can say, “Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together; this poor man cried, and the Lord heard him.” Weak hearts will be strengthened, and drooping saints will be revived as they listen to our “songs of deliverance.” Their doubts and fears will be rebuked as we teach and admonish one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. They, too, shall “sing in the ways of the Lord” when they hear us magnify his holy name.
Praise is the most heavenly of Christian duties. The angels don’t pray, but they never cease to praise God both day and night; and the redeemed, clothed in white robes with palm-branches in their hands, are never weary of singing the new song, “Worthy is the Lamb.” [M&E]