If you grew up attending church, you may remember something called the “doxology.”
In my tradition, it was customary, when the tithes and offerings were collected in a worship service, to stand as the ushers marched to the front of the chapel with the congregation’s collections. At that point, everyone knew what to do: The Doxology. It was a musical rendition of Psalm 100:
Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above all ye heavenly hosts.
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
It might also have been sung to conclude a service now and then. But “The Doxology” was part of our common language, at least in my faith community.
Not so much anymore. I can’t remember the last doxology I sang. But I plan to change that.
“Doxology” is simply a word imported from ancient Greek, from doxa (“glory”) and logia (“word” or “saying”). In modern use, it means a spoken or sung declaration of praise to God. And it’s a great way to pray, whether you’re in church or at the beach.
The Bible is filled with doxologies, and they can all be adopted into or adapted to your prayer life. For example, Psalm 41 concludes, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting” (Psalm 41:13, NIV). And Psalm 72 includes the doxology:
Praise be to the Lord God, the God of Israel,
who alone does marvelous deeds.
Praise be to his glorious name forever;
may the whole earth be filled with his glory.
Amen and Amen (Psalm 72:18-19, NIV).
The New Testament writings contain numerous doxologies:
Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen (1 Timothy 1:17, NIV).
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”
“Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay them?”
For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen” (Romans 11:33-36, NIV).
To the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen (Romans 16:27, NIV).
To the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen (Jude 25, NIV).
So try it. Give honor, glory and praise to God by speaking, writing and singing doxologies to Him, both from scripture and from the spontaneous utterings of your heart, mind and voice.