“All you peoples, clap your hands; shout to God with joyful cries.” (Psalm 47:2)
Have you ever given the Lord a rousing round of applause? When we’ve enjoyed a great concert, we clap exuberantly to show our appreciation. Sometimes we cheer. We may even give the performers a standing ovation and keep on applauding until they give us an encore. So let’s take the advice of the psalmist today and join him in a round of applause and loud shouts of acclamation for the Lord!
The Bible is filled with the worship of God. From its pages echo the voices of countless men and women—as well as myriads of angels—who offer cries and prayers of homage to the Lord. In the Book of Psalms especially, we find many inspired songs that extol the Lord and his greatness.
Today’s responsorial psalm (47) is a “kingship” psalm honoring God as the sovereign ruler of the world. It’s one of the Psalter’s greatest hymns inviting us to sing the praises of the Lord. As King of all the earth, he is worthy of adoration. The word “worship” is, in fact, derived from an Old English word meaning “to acknowledge the worth or value of something.” Psalm 47 celebrates God’s greatness and declares that the whole earth recognizes his supremacy and power. It calls men and women everywhere to express this worship not only vocally in “cries of gladness” but also in a noisy, joyous gesture: “All you peoples, clap your hands” (Psalm 47:2).
Gestures often have a way of expressing our feelings better than words. David danced with joyful abandon before the ark of the Lord (2 Samuel 6:14,16). The wise men prostrated themselves before the infant Jesus (Matthew 2:11). So why not try adding some body language to your prayer time today? Lift your arms in praise, bow in reverence, dance for joy, lie prostrate in worship, even jump and stomp in excitement! You may feel silly at first, but gestures like these can break down barriers and lead you into greater freedom in your relationship with Jesus. So applaud him as your king. Then as your day unfolds, let your praises spill over into all that you do for him, the sovereign Lord of your life.
“All praise to you, my Lord and King! You are worthy to receive ‘power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor and glory and blessing!’ (Revelation 5:12).”