Psalm 119:161-168 – Sin and Shin – Sevens
Princes persecute me without cause, but my heart stands in awe of your words.
I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.
I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law.
Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous ordinances.
Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.
I hope for your salvation, O Lord, and I fulfill your commandments.
My soul keeps your decrees; I love them exceedingly.
I keep your precepts and decrees, for all my ways are before you.
Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous ordinances…I love this line. I love the spirit of this idea – that the whole day is filled and covered in thanksgiving and prayer. It’s a reminder of the importance of the continual awareness of God’s presence. Most major religions have similar ways of doing this – in Islam the regular times of prayer are one of the Five Pillars of the faith. Judiasm has a similar practice. Christianity also holds to this idea in the liturgy of the hours.
For me, the practice is not so much about the specific forms of prayer but instead the continual awareness of the work of God and staying connected to God throughout the whole of the day. So, a prayer life is not just a few minutes in the morning or as one goes to bed but instead it’s driving to work, working out at the gym, walking kids to school, writing a report, sitting in a meeting, having lunch, coaching a team, watching a movie, reading a book, and so forth. All can be done in a spirit of prayer.
But the awareness takes intentionality. It doesn’t just happen. I decided this morning for my photo to see how many 7s I saw when walking to the church. I saw quite a few but they were not obvious – I had to be on the lookout to see them on the front of a house or on a license plate or a sign in the window. But they were there – just as God’s abiding presence is all around. But have your eyes open to how God is at work and praise God throughout the day – every day.