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Praising God!

Yesterday,
just 24 hours ago, we sang in worship, “I will sing to You as
long as I live. I will praise you, God, to my last breath. I will
worship You with arms held high.
” (Greg Skodacek)
And
I wondered again at the act of praise and worship of our Lord Jesus
Christ. What is praise? What is it that causes our hearts to fill
to overflowing with love, adoration, gratefulness, delight and
thanksgiving that we are compelled to raise our arms and fall to our
knees?
As
I wonder about the act of praise, I realize, first of all, it is not
an act, but a spontaneous outburst from the core of our being. When
have I seen such praise? My mind races back to my mother. How often
my memories go back to that woman who was so alive in the Lord.
Returning from college, I walked through the living room with its
mountainous scene painted on one wall in shades of purple through to
the dining room with the windows filled with green plants to Mom’s
bedroom. She pulled the garment from beneath the presser foot of the
Singer sewing machine, shouting, “Praise God.”
In
my cynical just past-teen stage I asked, “What are you praising God
for?” Her answer amazed me. Such a little thing…. “The thread
came out even with the last seam, and I don’t need to go to the store
to buy more!”
I
shook my head. Mom! She could burst into song at the most unusual
times, voicing praise! “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye
heavenly host; Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost
. (Thomas Ken –
1674) She always ended the song, smiling, with a long
“A-a-a-a-m-e-e-e-n!”
No
blessing is too small to treasure and cause us to give praise to our
Abba Father and delight in Him. Take delight in the Lord your God,
and you will receive the desires of your heart.”

Psalm 37:4. How we long for control in our lives. How
simple it is to put our trust in the One who controls our lives, our
world, our universe. We always say when we don’t understand our
world, “God is in control.” And this isn’t just powers and
principalities and the workings of the universe, but all those small
happenings we think at first are coincidences. Praise is a window
through which our soul catches a glimpse of our Lord God. Praise is
praying for it brings an awareness and presence of our Lord God.
Have
you ever had tingles of anticipation and expectation invade your very
being at Christmas, a new job, or your birthday? Or the wonder of
the birth of a little baby? That is what being ‘on the ready’ for
praises gives me. It is a mindset that is set on God and his working
in our lives. Recognizing that God is able to do more than we can
imagine and He loves us unconditionally brings a sense of peace.
Praising
God is not ‘hit or miss’, it is intentional. And thus enters Ann
Voskamp and her book, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully
Right Where You Are.
This is
for all ages as women learn to recognize that life is not to be
endured, to be grudgingly lived, but celebrated in the fullness of
Praise and Thank You to the Lord. If the book makes you long for a
cheerleader to lead you in seeing a praiseworthy life, go to Ann’s
blog – http://www.aholyexperience.com/
It is all about praising God.
Why
did I wait to learn about the joy and fulfillment of praising that
God gives until my 80’s? I am thankful that during this age of daily
aches and pains is now filled with Abundant Praise. When I encounter
a situation that is less than pleasant, I give God thanks for his
strength and wisdom to see me through.
Youth
is a constant, “So?” stage of life. That stage when everything
achieved and experienced is a gift, without realizing the Giver is
the Author and Finisher of our Faith . “Don’t be
deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect is
from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like the
shadows.”
James 1:16-17 I
like The Message version – So my dear friends, don’t get
thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of
heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father
of Light
.
King
David, a man of flaws, and yet a man after God’s own heart, knew how
to praise God long ago.. I heard from a friend how dear reading the
Psalms was to him. I know why. Praise that sings from the heart was
David’s joy. In the Bible there are 363 references to praise and 181
of the references are from David, the writer of the Psalms. He knew
the secret of joy in the Lord through praise.
Praise
the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty
heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his
surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with timbrel and
dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with the
clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything
that has breath, praise the Lord. Praise the Lord
.
Psalm 150
The last book, Revelation has four references to praise. Revelation 7:12 and Revelation 19:5 are the last two. Revelation 7:11-12 – All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying; “Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!”
Revelation 19:13 – Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying” “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, forever and ever!”

To me, Praise is….
  • Delighting in God
  • Being alert and ready to praise for little and big blessings
  • Praying
  • Worshiping
  • Singing to God
  • Thanking God
  • Remembering the gift of salvation
  • Remembering the cross and the resurrection
  • Being mindful of His Glory and Grace
  • Worshiping the Creator, not the Creation.
  • Constantly seeking His Presence.

I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Isaiah 61:10 (NIV)

The question is, can I say with honesty, the words of this song – “Praise is What I Do”? “Praise is what I do/ When I want to be close to You, I lift my hands in praise. Praise is who I am, I will praise Him while I can. I’ll bless Him at all times.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFuNuhoPdyw

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