Psalm 103: 1
“ Let all that I am praise the Lord;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.” (NLT)
“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.” (NASB)
How much or often have you praised God lately? I love to listen to Christian music when I’m driving, and I often sing or hum along. In a way, that is praising God. But, recently in the frustration of being at home and not getting out to do all the things I used to do, I’ve realized that praising God is not on my list of priorities. Worrying or finding things to do are. So, this week in the devotions, I’m going to focus on praising God. In this pandemic time, looking up is so much better than looking down.
I don’t know about you, but my prayer life tends to focus on praying for others. As names pop into my head over the course of the day, I pray for those people. Or as I ponder situations I’m facing, I ask for God’s wisdom and help in making good decisions. I also thank God when I hear about prayers answered or when I sense His leading on some issue. I know I should also include praise in my prayer life, but I seem to find that more difficult. Especially now in the pandemic, I’m praying for help and relief more. If I were to decide to concentrate on praise, what would I say? Wouldn’t it be rather repetitious? For an English teacher, struggling with finding the right words seems weird, but I do.
One thing I learned from Glenn Hart (who was our Small Group Pastor and then a Teaching Pastor at LSA), when I took his course on prayer, was to write down the alphabet vertically on a piece of paper, and then find words that describe God which start with each letter. I also got an idea from a friend of mine who kept an address book to write in because those pages were already in alphabetical order. On those pages she wrote verses that started with that letter and also wrote the words of songs that started with that letter. She added to those pages as she did daily devotions or some thought came to mind. Then on any given day, she’d turn to one of the pages and use that information to praise God.
So I challenge you – and me – to figure out a way to increase your praise time with God. Start a journal. Put an alphabet list on your frig door, and as you think of a characteristic of God, write it down. As you open your frig, look at the list and praise God right then.
Our song for today is Praise My Soul the King of Heaven, written by Henry Francis in 1834. It’s an anthem with beautiful praise.