PRAISE TO THE LORD, THE ALMIGHTY
Joachim Neander, 1650–1680
Translated by Catherine Winkworth, 1829–1878
Let the people praise Thee, O God; let all the people praise Thee. (Psalm 67:3)
Great expressions of praise to God have come from many different traditions and backgrounds. Throughout the centuries God has used the talents of people from various cultures to provide His church with hymns of praise so His people might be known as people of praise and thanksgiving.
The author of this inspiring hymn text, Joachim Neander, has often been called the greatest of all German-Calvinist Reformed hymn writers. He wrote approximately 60 hymns and composed many tunes. Nearly all of his hymns are triumphant expressions of praise.
This hymn is a free paraphrase of Psalm 103:1–6, which begins, “Bless [praise] the Lord, O my soul: And all that is within me, bless His holy name.” The translator of this text, Catherine Winkworth, is regarded as one of the finest translators of the German language. Her translations helped to make German hymns popular in England and America during the 19th century. The tune, “Lobe Den Herren” (“Praise to the Lord”), first appeared in a German hymnal in 1665. It is said that Neander personally chose this tune for his text, and the words have never been used with any other melody.
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation! O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation! All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near; join me in glad adoration.
Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth, shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth! Hast thou not seen how thy desires e’er have been granted in what He ordaineth?
Praise to the Lord, who with marvelous wisdom hath made thee, decked thee with health, and with loving hand guided and stayed thee; How oft in grief hath not He brought thee relief, spreading His wings for to shade thee!
Praise to the Lord! O let all that is in me adore Him! All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him! Let the Amen sound from His people again: Gladly for aye we adore Him!
For Today: Psalm 100; 103:1–6; 104; 150; Colossians 1:15–20
It has been said that “he who sincerely praises God will soon discover within his soul an inclination to praise goodness in his fellow men.” Make this your day’s goal. Sing as you go—