Hymn text by Isaac Watts, 1674-1748. View the full text of this hymn.

Praising the Lord is an action that most, if not all, Christians try to do. Praising comes in many forms. Nephi explains it well when he says, “We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies” (2 Nephi 25:26). 

We praise the Lord for many reasons, but perhaps the reason that stands out the most in the lyrics of this hymn is that we are happy to have a God of action on whom to rely. Our God is not a God of the past, nor is He a silent partner in our lives or in the world. He is constant and he is active.

The song enumerates many of these actions:

    • made the sky, earth, and seas (verse 4 lines 2, 3 )
    • saves the oppressed (verse 5 line 2)
    • feeds the poor (verse 5 line 2)
    • sends peace (verse 5 line 3)
    • releases captives (verse 5 line 4)
    • gives sight to the blind (verse 6 line 1)
    • supports the sinking mind (verse 6 line 2)
    • helps the stranger, widow, and fatherless (verse 6 lines 3, 4)
    • loves and knows the saints (verse 7 line 1)

What a wonderful list of attributes that our God has! Truly, this is a God to be praised. Based on this list, we can create another list of adjectives that describe this kind of God.

  • powerful
  • merciful
  • mindful
  • loving
  • active
  • protective
  • compassionate
  • proven

I could go on. Our God is a mighty God, indeed! And we praise Him because He is so mighty, yet uses everything He is and everything He has to bless our lives. “Of all his creations of which I’m a part,/ Yes, I know Heavenly Father loves me” (Children’s Songbook pg. 228). The amount of work it takes to keep everyone in mind on an individual level is insurmountable, yet He does it. The amount of patience it must take to watch all of us learn and fail and struggle and succeed is unfathomable, yet He does it. The amount of mercy it must take to forgive the repentant of sins more numerous than I can count is incredible, yet He does it.

Nephi, in praising the Lord, says, “O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm” (2 Nephi 4:34). Do we do this, too? Do we take action to do everything we can to prove to our God, through our actions and our words, that we appreciate Him and everything He does for us? Do we recognize His infinite power and bow to it rather than to the will of man? My prayer and my hope for all of us is that we do and that we strive to be better in our recognition of our Lord every day.

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