Our Pastor asked a question a few months ago during one of his sermons that stuck with me and forever changed me. His question was, “When was the last time that you offered praise to God without asking Him for one single thing?” As I sat and pondered on that question I realized that it had been a long time since I had thanked Him without asking for something.
In trying to do better in this area, I decided to spend a whole day and do nothing but praise God. I wouldn’t ask anything all day I’d just thank Him and give Him praise. Just let me say that’s harder than you would think. I never realized that I had a habit of automatically asking for things when I prayed! So I decided to spend a few days a week just praising God. I wanted to break the habit of constantly asking for things without being thankful first. This has changed my life dramatically.
I have gotten into the habit of writing out my prayers each day. I highlight them in my prayer journal when they have been answered. This is just a way to keep me accountable and to remind me of God’s goodness too. I had created a template from a post that I had seen on Pinterest in which I start my day and my prayer off by praising God first. I’ve been amazed at how this has changed my mood and my well being especially on the days that have been difficult.
One morning I decided to write out verses in my prayer journal that talked about praise. The search for these verses led me to 2 Chronicles 20. In this chapter, a great multitude was coming against Jehoshaphat and his men. He became afraid and sought the Lord ask Him what they should do. In verse 12 he states that they were powerless against this army and that they didn’t know what to do, but their eyes were on God. Then in verses 21 and 22 is where I things got real for me regarding praise!
“And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those
who were to sing to the Lord and praise him in holy attire, as they
went before the army, and say, “Give thanks to the Lord, for his
steadfast love endures forever.” And when they began to sing and
praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab,
and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed.”
Did you notice what happened? And when they began to sing and praise – the Lord then rescued them! What battles in our lives could we have victory over if we just began to praise Him more?
Praising God is just a small portion of what I learned from this chapter that day. But taking the time to praise God without requesting anything from Him has kept me focused on Him and His goodness to me.
So let’s learn to praise Him more and let’s watch as we see victories being won in our lives!
I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High. ~ Psalm 7:17