Good morning! I hope you had a great weekend.
This morning as my wife and I were out for our morning walk, we found ourselves talking about praise. Praise is such a critical component in our relationship to God, because it acknowledges who He is. For example:
Revelation 4:8 (NASB)
And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, is THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME.”
In fact, scripture tells us that God dwells among the praises of His people:
Psalm 22:3 (NASB)
Yet Thou art holy, O Thou who art enthroned upon the praises of Israel.
Unfortunately, all too often we substitute “thanksgiving” for “praise.” Many times when I ask for people to give praise to God, I hear something like this: “I’m thankful because the Lord did _____ for me this week.” Now this statement does bring honor to God, but it is based on His actions toward the person. Praise on the other hand has nothing to do with the actions of God, but simply deals with the “person” of God.
Notice how Jesus taught us to pray in the model prayer we know as “The Lord’s Prayer:”
Matthew 6:9 (NASB)
“Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.
There is a significant reason for this statement of praise in the beginning of the prayer. Those first words give us proper perspective for prayer. If God is not who He is, then prayer would be powerless. The power of prayer is not based in the person praying, but in the One to whom the petition of prayer is given. When we take the time to praise we willingly humble ourselves and acknowledge God’s proper place in our lives. We also acknowledge that He is both capable and able to establish, forgive, provide and deliver. The time we spend in praise takes our eyes off of our own lives and puts them squarely upon the One who gives life. It is at this point that we are now ready to seek Him for our needs, because we have our focus in the right place.
Today, I encourage you to spend some time in praise. Keep actions out of this time of communicating with God and instead focus on His attributes. If you need help use verses like Revelation 4:8 to help you.
Until next Monday, may God’s richest blessings be yours this week.