There are 22 verses in Psalm 34, six of which are prayed during the liturgy today. If you have ever prayed with Psalm 34, you probably realize how uplifting and reassuring it is. Instead of breezing through only the six verses, it is good to read and pray with the whole psalm, especially in this transitional time as the pandemic seems to be abating somewhat.
This psalm is a call to prayer and praise. We read the words “praise,” “be glad,” “magnify,” and “exalt.” These are not words we commonly use in our mundane conversation. When we use them as we talk about our relationship with God, we should feel joyful and positive. There is a call for praying and praising with others:
O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. (verse 3)
In the next few verses, we read that we are “answered,” “delivered from fears,” “heard” and “saved” by the Lord. If we need a dose of optimism, here we are! We are encouraged and advised,
...happy are those who take refuge in him. (verse 8b)
...those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. (verse 10b)