Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankful Thursday--Praise

One night before we had a speaking engagement, I had a lot on my mind. I was in no shape to speak to women about loving their families, because at the moment I didn't think too much of mine. Mostly my husband. I was so mad at him! I felt like we (the kids and I) were an afterthought in his life.

I was fuming as I left our bus and headed for the church. Suddenly I saw the sunset. It was beautiful. I had almost missed it in my fury. I started walking slower and thanked God for the sunset. Then I saw the flag flying outside the church, and I thanked God for our country and the freedom to worship as we want.

It bagan a waterfall of thanks in my heart. I thanked Him for my family--for my children who were so precious and my husband, who was just having a bad day. I thanked God for loving me, for having the ability to stop me in my pious condemnation and turn my eyes to Him.

By the time I made my way to the door of the church, I didn't want to go in because my time of praise to the Lord was so sweet. My heart, which had just moments earlier been so heavy, was now full of love, forgiveness, and gratefulness. I was amazed at the instant change that praising the Lord had made in my heart and attitude.

When we praise the Lord, it isn't just a way for us to worship Him, although that is very important. "Praise releases the power of God into our lives. Praise is a powerful tool that the Lord has put in our hands to turn the difficult situations of our lives around."1

I realized that praise doesn't necessarily chage our circumstances, but it can change our perspective and attitude about out situations. It gives hope for the challenging times. As days passed, I began acknowledging the amazing things about God as I prayed, instead of only making requests and asking forgiveness for things I had done wrong.

Praise doesn't come naturally for me. Before I ask anything from the Lord, I speak some words of praise to Him. It's not always easy, but practicing helps.

"Let praise cascade off my lips; after all, you've taught me the truth about life! Invigorate my soul so I can praise you well" (Psalm 119:171, 175 The Message).

Lord, I praise You for giving us the ability to praise You. You are the king of all the earth. Nothing is above You. You are the beginning, the end, and everything in between. Thank You for Your creation. The trees, mountains, flowers, rivers, and especially people are all amazing gifts from You. I pray that You will let praise cascade off my lips, specific praises every day, all the time.

I ask that You help me learn to see the good things about my family, the blessings rather than the burdens. Would You remind me to daily praise You for them? Thank You. On my own, change is hopeless, but with You my whole heart can be renewed. My attitude can change from sour to sweet. Thank You for loving me enough to die for me. Thank You for never giving up on me. Thank You for enabling us to be thankful. Thank You that we aren't condemned to just be negative; there is hope for tomorrow. Let everything that is within me praise You, Lord, and through that praise fill me with Your strength and hope, letting that joy spill over into my family. I love You, Lord. I pray in Jesus' Name, amen.

What are you thankful for this Thursday?

(From Laurie and Sharon's book Hold You, Mommy)

1 comment:

  1. I am thankful for my husband's job that provides for our family, even though it takes him away many evenings.