1 Chronicles 29:10 David praised the LORD before the entire assembly: “O LORD God of our father Israel, you deserve praise forevermore! 11 O LORD, you are great, mighty, majestic, magnificent, glorious, and sovereign over all the sky and earth! You have dominion and exalt yourself as the ruler of all. 12 You are the source of wealth and honour; you rule over all. You possess strength and might to magnify and give strength to all. 13 Now, our God, we give thanks to you and praise your majestic name! 14″But who am I and who are my people, that we should be in a position to contribute this much? Indeed, everything comes from you, and we have simply given back to you what is yours…20 David told the entire assembly:”Praise the LORD your God!”So the entire assembly praised the LORD God of their ancestors; they bowed down and stretched out flat on the ground before the LORD and the king.
This prayer is deeply challenging, and it feels almost sacrilegious for me to add anything. The one thing that is clearly evident is that this prayer does not demand / cajole / instruct our Creator. We who live in a culture steeped in avarice and consumerism need prayers that focus us beyond our own greed. All of life and all that our lives contain is grounded in an Eternal Source that is beyond our manipulation or command. All we can do is offer our Creator respect and obedience.
Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.
Words: Martin Rinkart, circa 1636 (Nun danket alle Gott); first appeared in Praxis Pietatis Melica, by Johann Crüger (Berlin, Germany: 1647); translated from German to English by Catherine Winkworth, 1856.