Hello my Dear!
We are kind of late on the uptake to this blog post. I have been SO busy these past few days, with Thanksgiving, hosting, redecorating, cooking, AND a short-lived flu virus. But excuses aside, I'm happy to be here today to share a small word with you on this beautiful Sunday.
This past week was Thanksgiving, and of course I could take time to discuss gratitude, but I actually wanted to discuss the practice of praising the Lord.
Praising God is different than expressing gratitude to Him, but both of those practices require a centered heart, a love for God, and an expression of warmth towards Him. Praising God is an essential practice for our daily lives because it causes us to look outside ourselves and towards the omnipotence and magnitude of God.
Thanking God is JUST as important as praising Him, but the thing I love about praising God is that it has nothing to do with US.
So much of our relationship with the Lord can be very self-centered. After all, we ask Him to forgive us, we ask Him to help us, we ask Him to bless us, and then, after all that, we go and thank Him for the things He's done for US. Me, me, me, me, me.
It can sometimes feel that our prayer lives and by extension, our relationship to the Lord, can become completely self-focused, as if we've lost sight of the fact that God is not just another friend or relative; He is the Most High and Most Holy One TRUE God! Jehovah!
While it is absolutely ESSENTIAL to have supplication, gratitude, and confession in a healthy prayer life, it's also true that many of us could afford to spend a little more time on the act of praising God. God is more than our friend; He is our King, our Master, and our Savior. He deserves more than just a few minutes of us begging Him for things... He deserves praise from every mouth on earth!
The reality is that praising God takes us out of the mindset that says it's all about US, and instead, it forces us to bask in God's greatness and unchanging glory. It is incredibly humbling to name and list out the incredible qualities of the Lord because His innate greatness exposes my lowliness. But that is not a bad thing; in fact, recognizing my lowly humanity in contrast to His Godly holiness reminds me that He is in charge and I do not need to worry.
It is incredible that the answers to so many of my prayers and supplications for my fear, anxiety, troubles, and life problems could be addressed in a simple moment of praising the Lord, forgetting my own failures and troubles, and basking in His victories and greatness.
The most humbling AND comforting thing I can do with my time is praise the Lord, listing out His triumphs, and reminding myself of His greatness. This is why so much of Scripture is a catalog of God's triumphs and all the incredible attributes He possesses; it causes us to remain humbled, yet confident that the God who loves us is also the God who saves.
So today, for the week of Thanksgiving, let's praise God with this classic hymn:
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!
Praise God the Father who’s the source; Praise God the Son who is the course; Praise God the Spirit who’s the flow; Praise God, our portion here below!
And all I have to say after that is AMEN. I hope you take time to praise God today in between all of the requests, gratitude, and confessions this week... I know I need that reminder, desperately.