Saturday, June 25, 2011

prayer and praise

As I prayed this morning I thanked God for who He is and His attributes. I try to keep this part of my prayers fresh because it often sounds more like rote memorization recited daily on the pages of my journal. Thank You for Your love, Thank You for Your mercy, etc. Even though I am not always as focused as I wish to be, I think that is one of the most important parts of prayer each day, the time spent reflecting upon the glory of God.

In the past I wondered, does God need to be reminded about who He is? I think it is a healthy part of a relationship, and we do the same thing in our earthly relationships. I tell Tim the things I love about him and thank him for the wonderful things he does for me and for the wonderful person he is. I should do the same thing for God. Instead, often I'm just tossing up a prayer to God asking, "Lord please help me with my day." I'm sure Tim wouldn't appreciate it if my daily communication with him was "Tim, please help me wash the dishes and fill the tank with gas." That is discouraging and not loving communication. When our words are filled with adoration it is uplifting for the person being praised, but also for the one doing the praising.

David constantly praised God in the Psalms, remembered His mercies to His people, and recalled His attributes.

"Satisfy us in the morning with Your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days." Psalm 90:14

I think it is important to praise God not only because He deserves to be praised at all times, but because it reminds me of the truth about God. It helps me remember who He is, that He is love and beauty, strength and glory, grace and mercy, forgiving and faithful, holy and pure. God knows that He is all these things, but I forget. I forget that God is amazing and come to Him with a exhaustive list of needs and worries, hoping that He will answer me when I call. I need to praise Him daily to remind myself of His glory.

Prayer is a mysterious privilege. We are allowed to approach the God of the universe at all times. We do not need to go to temple or have our prayers mediated through an earthly priest. God's Son is our High Priest, Jesus. Because of Him we can talk to the Father, any time, any place.

Prayer is something that we should do without ceasing and too often cease doing. I think if I really understood prayer I would pray so much more than I do.

"To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing." Martin Luther King Jr.

May the Lord strengthen us to pray when we are weak and when we are strong, when we are sad and when we are joyful. May the first words on our lips be praise at all times and in every situation.

"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." Job 1:21

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