Praise the Lord!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty firmament!
Praise Him for His mighty acts;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!
Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet;
Praise Him with the lute and harp!
Praise Him with the timbrel and dance;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!
Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord!
My dad has weak lungs. At night he sleeps with oxygen, and he’s gone to the hospital multiple times because his lungs have filled with fluid making it difficult for him to breathe. For my dad, every breath is a gift. I’ve never had a problem with my lungs, but I’ve had panic attacks where the only indication that I was breathing at all came from the fact that I was managing to cry even though it felt like all the air had been sucked out of me.
Breathing is so natural that until you feel like you can’t anymore it doesn’t feeling like a blessing. Think about how unless someone tells you to breathe you forget you’re even doing it. It’s like your heart beating or your brain synapses firing; you have no control over it, so you take it for granted.
Psalm 150 breaks itself down as the who, what, when, were, and why of praising the Lord. It exhorts, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!” On the one hand it’s a simple call of no excuses, but the call shifts when we begin to think about our breath as something precious. Breath after is all is how God gave Adam life, and breath is the clearest indication that a person is alive. If we think about our breathing as a precious gift — an indication of God’s divine hand over our lives — then we can also begin to see praising the Lord as more than a simple call. It’s an honor.