First Things First

When praying I too often look to move past the praise and worship of God into presenting my “to-do list” to God. “Lord, I know you are great and worthy of praise, but you have to realize that I have a lot of problems and need a lot of help.”  Hey, it makes some sense, after all God doesn’t really need my praise, but I really need his help. Okay, I can see myself getting over my head here, so let’s slow down a bit. 

In my experience, when I don’t start my prayer with praising and worshiping the Lord, things don’t work right. It’s good to recall the FIRST commandment….  “YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD AND HIM ONLY SHALL YOU SERVE”It’s important to put first things first. Focusing on the greatness of God enables everything else to fall into place. Psalm 104 speaks of the magnitude of the Lord, his greatness, his glory.. it helps us to know that the Lord is great and if we follow him, everything else will be good.  

“Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, thou art very great! Thou art clothed with honor and majesty,… who makes the clouds thy chariot, who rides on the wings of the wind…Thou didst set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be shaken…. Thou makes springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills,they give drink to every beast of the field … From thy lofty abode thou waters the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy work.Thou does cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread to strengthen man’s heart… O LORD, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all; the earth is full of thy creatures…. May the glory of the LORD endure for ever, may the LORD rejoice in his works,who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke!I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the LORD. Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more! Bless the LORD, O my soul! Praise the LORD!(Ps. 104)

The catechism cautions us about glossing over the importance of this first commandment and how it can lead to despair. The first commandment is concerned with sins against hope, namely, despair and presumption. “By despair, man ceases to hope for his personal salvation from God, for help in attaining it or for the forgiveness of his sins. Despair is contrary to God’s goodness, to his justice – for the Lord is faithful to his promises – and to his mercy. (CCC, Par 2091). It goes on to say, “There are two kinds of presumption. Either man presumes upon his own capacities, (hoping to be able to save himself without help from on high), or he presumes upon God’s almighty power or his mercy (hoping to obtain his forgiveness without conversion and glory without merit).”(CCC, Par. 2092)

So, what’s the point of this BLOG? Although there are about 50 “loose ends” to tie up here, let me just say a final word. Are you ready… listen up. If we try and fight the good fight of faith on our own, we are going to fall flat on our face. When we don’t focus on the greatness of our God and give him the fitting honor and praise he deserves, we will be tempted to “go it alone”…. when we go it alone, we will become discouraged, drift into despair and presumption, and inevitably fall on our face; the problems will seem insurmountable because we have forgotten what a great God we serve…. a God who is magnificent and powerful and loving and more than able to take care every problem we face or imagine we will face. 

So, Bless the LORD, O my soul! Praise the LORD! And all will be well with my soul.

4 thoughts on “First Things First

  1. Dad, such an important reminder! I also tend to rush through the worship part is my prayer. Thanks for this one.


  2. So important to meditate in the greatness of God and his intense and awesome love for us. This helps us look 👀 up instead of at ourselves!
    Remembering this each during Lent was a game changer for my prayer life 🙌🏻⚓️


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