Psalm 100: 4-5
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Indeed, we are meant to praise God! We enter into His presence when we praise Him. But for me and maybe for you, we forget to praise God often enough.
Author and speaker Marnie Swedberg points out that we have an imbalance in our prayer and praise. She says the Bible mentions prayer 316 times and praise 238 times. I wonder if for every 316 times I pray, do I praise 238 times?
Reasons to praise God include:
We enter into God's presence with praise. We see this in the opening psalm above, as well as in Psalm 95: 2, "Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song."
We unleash God's power through praise. Praise reflects, recognizes, and triggers God's power, as demonstrated in Paul and Silas' miraculous rescue from prison by an earthquake while they were praying and singing hymns, described in Acts 16: 25-26.
We get through pain and trouble by praising God. In all circumstances in life, God is good, and we are to praise Him. Peter suggests that God's greatness surpasses sufferings, in 1 Peter 5: 10, "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."
For myself, my prayers can become too focused on problems I want God to solve for me, and not enough on praising God for who He is and for the goodness He gives us now and always. Crosswalk.com wrote similarly:
Sometimes even within our prayers, we can tend to complain about our problems. God knows our hearts. And He cares about all that concerns us. But through praise, we’re focused on Him, no longer allowing too much attention to be centered around our struggles.
I like how Marnie Swedberg proposes that we change our wording of prayer requests to focus on praising God rather than on the problem. So lately, I've come to pray like this at times:
"God, I don't know why I'm worrying about this, because I know you have all things in your hands, and you're already working on this problem."
"Thank you, Lord, for already being victorious in this matter. I can feel at peace because you're out ahead of me, making things happen even when I don't realize it."
"God, you're so good, and you give me so much. Don't let me focus too much on my problems. Help me focus on praising you, loving you, and living in your will."
I hope this helps you to refocus your own communications with God to include a healthy mix of praise to the One who is sovereign, who loves you and forgives you and offers you grace, who indeed has the whole world in His hands.
If you're interested, check out Marnie Swedberg's free 7-day praise challenge at www.7DayPraiseChallenge.com .
Praise to God who offers eternal life to all who believe on Jesus' name! The #10 theme in my podcast series, "The Top 11 Themes of Jesus," is that believers will be rewarded with eternal life. I'm joined on this June podcast by author, speaker, and chaplain Victoria Chapin to share our views on Jesus' descriptions of eternal life. Please listen by searching Apple, Spotify, or Podbean for "Cecil Taylor Monthly Podcasts," or by navigating to https://www.CecilTaylorMinistries.com/Free-Content.