PRAISE, MY SOUL, THE KING OF HEAVEN
Henry F. Lyte, 1793–1847
Praise the Lord, all His works everywhere in His dominion. Praise the Lord, O my soul. (Psalm 103:22)
The Christian life that is joyless is a discredit to God and a disgrace to itself.
—Maltbie D. Babcock
A life of praise and an inner joy and contentment are interwoven—they are complements of each other. Such a life is the result of being absorbed with God. For such an individual the pursuit of God’s glory, the Lordship of Christ, and the worship and praise of our Creator-redeemer become a natural way of living. To this person the blessings of God never become commonplace.
Forgives all our iniquities; heals our diseases, redeems our life from destruction; crowns us with loving kindness and mercy; satisfies us with good things; renews our youth, works righteousness and judgment for the oppressed; gives guidance to His people; is merciful; is gracious and slow to anger while plenteous in mercy: knows all about us; will never forsake. (Psalm 103:3–10)
Although Henry Lyte, the author of this hymn text, experienced many difficulties in life, including a frail body, this hymn helps us realize that we as believers can rise above our problems and lift voices of praise in spite of any circumstances. The text is a summary of the psalmist’s admonition in Psalm 103 to praise and to remember all of the good things about God. It first appeared in Lyte’s collection of new paraphrases of the Psalms, published in 1834. Interestingly, the hymn has the distinction of being the requested processional for the wedding of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey on November 20, 1947, exactly 100 years after author Henry Lyte’s death.
Praise, my soul, the King of heaven; to His feet thy tribute bring; ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, evermore His praises sing: Alleluia! Praise the Everlasting king!
Father-like, He tends and spares us, well our feeble frame He knows; in His hands He gently bears us, rescues us from all our foes: Alleluia! Widely yet His mercy flows!
Angels in the height, adore Him; ye behold Him face to face; Sun and moon, bow down before Him, dwellers all in time and space: Alleluia! Praise with us the God of grace!
For Today: 1 Chronicles 29:10–13; Psalm 47:6, 7; 103; 1 Timothy 1:17
Remember—A cheerful word of praise and encouragement will mean more to those with whom we live than acres of flowers we may give when they are gone. Carry this song of triumph with you—