One morning traveling across Oklahoma City, amazing colors on the horizon caught my eye. I felt I drawn to the changing scene before me. Grateful I wasn’t driving so I could take it all in. As we headed south on I-44, I lost sight of the horizon, but I could see the southern sky take on color. The ashen clouds picking up shades of rose along their edges. Several miles flew by when the skyline suddenly broke away revealing an incredible scene before me.
Thin wandering clouds just above the horizon shimmered silver surrounded by glistening pale gold and sunflower yellow against a background of midnight blue fading to periwinkle. Above the two islands heavier clouds demonstrated their mass with hues of gunmetal gray, shades of amber and rimmed with plum to fuschia to hot pink. I wished I had my brother’s artistic talent to record the exquisiteness. I thought of islands floating on a sea.
I described what I was seeing to the driver who couldn’t turn to look due to traffic. As we turned towards our destination, the clouds above me and to the western horizon, rimmed in rose to violet scallops. A grandmothers quilt of many colors sending me a message of comfort. I thought, “God is covering me in His love and protection today.” I said a quick prayer of praise and gratitude for the gift of witnessing God’s glory this morning.
Praising God and being grateful for His blessings is a habit I developed early in my relationship with Jesus. For years I heard of gratitude journals and maintaining a thankful heart.
Something was missing.
At a time when I felt my prayers were flat, I discovered praise.
The Lord is merciful and compassionate,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
The Lord is good to everyone.
He showers compassion on all his creation.
All of your works will thank you, Lord,
and your faithful followers will praise you.
They will speak of the glory of your kingdom;
they will give examples of your power.
They will tell about your mighty deeds
and about the majesty and glory of your reign.
For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom.
You rule throughout all generations.
The Lord always keeps his promises;
he is gracious in all he does.
The Lord helps the fallen
and lifts those bent beneath their loads. Psalm 145:8-14 NLT
Praise is merely acknowledging God by name for who he is and what he has or can do. It was a habit I had to learn. At first, it felt awkward and embarrassing. It slowly became one of my favorite segments of morning prayers.
To begin, I started reading the Psalms. I found guidance, examples, and how different praises trigger emotion within me. Psalm 100 is one of my favorites.
I also was encouraged to raise my hands up to God. When I first started raising a hand up to God while singing a hymn or contemporary song I felt awkward. Soon I felt the power and the Holy Spirit filling me with the warmth of love. Raising my hands up to praise the One True God in prayer felt unnatural at first. I felt foolish even though no one was present.
Did Jesus understand my embarrassment?
When we praise God acknowledge who He is; the creator, healer, protector, salvation. At first, quoting a verse, or Psalm helps. Recognize what God has done or is doing in your life. “Father, you answered my prayer and taught me perseverance in the five-year wait. I thank you.”
Try different statements. You will find what works for you quickly.
When we praise God in our prayer life, His presence and glory draw us closer to Him. I found Praising God gave me strength in my faith and God’s faithfulness. When I became sloppy in my prayers, I wasn’t praising and wasn’t aware of God’s presence.
Daily praising God, demonstrates to Satan where our attention is and how much we value our relationship with Jesus. Satan’s resolve is to keep us from worshiping our Heavenly Father. When God is our primary focus and living each day more like Jesus, our goal, Satan is defeated.
God will hear our praise. He will continually bless us with the rewards of a fulfilled life.
Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. Hebrews 13:15 NLT
Q: Will you add PRAISE to your daily prayer life?
Q: In what ways are you PRAISING God now?
Q: After seven days of PRAISING please leave me a comment. Do you feel closer to Jesus in your relationship?
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