In Psalm 65 David sings out to the Lord, “Where morning dawns and evening fades you call forth songs of joy” (verse 8). Where does his joy come from? Not his circumstances — he’s rejoicing in the Lord!
“Your river in the heavens brims over to us!” David exclaims (verse 9, paraphrased). Don’t you love that visual?! Heaven’s river of life isn’t just far off and way later it’s flowing all around us now, even into us and through us to others. We can drink from the living waters all day.
A Good Beginning and Ending
How you begin and end your day makes a big difference in whether or not you drink from the river in the heavens as you go about your day. In the morning the day rushes at us and we might get carried away into the stress. In the evening we may fall into bed exhausted. Begin well and end well. This helps us to “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4) and “Give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
I like to make my first and last words expressions of love for the Lord. One way I do that is to offer prayers of submission in the morning and prayers of thanks in the evening.
For instance, my morning prayer from Psalm 65 is: “Today as I _______ , Lord Jesus Christ, call forth songs of joy.” It’s a simple prayer of the heart used to submit the activities of my day to the Lord and find my joy in him as I do what I do.
Then in the evening I use the same prayer for reflection: “Today God called forth songs of joy as I ________.” I review my day with the Lord, pausing to notice the times that I enjoyed his presence in some way. I give thanks to him. (This is called an “examen of consciousness” because we’re remembering the times we were conscious of God’s presence during the day.)
This is the Psalmist’s ancient rhythm of prayer. Each morning as an act of worship he submits himself and his activities to God. Each night he reflects, shares his heart, and gives thanks for the day.
More Soul Shepherding
My prayer poem from Psalm 65 will lift your spirits: “Songs of Joy!” Try singing it with me!