Praise and Relationship

Remember the first time you started a relationship with someone? If the relationship is going to last, the two of you need to communicate with each other and trust each other. One of the ways to build that open communication is to honestly say kind words of appreciation to each other. Gary Smalley calls it “The Love Language.” The Bible tells us to build each other up, to encourage each other. Some days, after my husband has done one irritating thing after another, it’s hard to find something kind to say, but I look and there it is! Kindness leads to communication which leads to more kindness, appreciation and love.

Did you know that God desires us to worship Him? Not because He needs our worship but because our praise opens the doors of communication with Him. After all, our relationships on earth are a small mirror to what our relationship is supposed to be with God. So, praise should be a natural outpouring of our love for Him. We show our appreciation to the Lord for all He has done and our love for Him in our words of adoration and praise.

If you can’t find your own words to praise God, read the Word. It is filled with praise for our Mighty Creator. No one is like Him and no one deserves the praise that is His just because of Who He is.

A creature is a created being, one created by God. The creatures in Revelation know to praise God, the One who was in the time of creation and all of the patriarchs, the One who is fully present in our lives today and the One who is coming again to rule and reign forever.

Holy, Holy, Holy-Audrey Assad

The ACTS Prayer Pattern

“A” stands for “adoration.” I believe that every prayer should start with adoration for God for Who He is.

Praise Ye The Lord

“C” is for confession. There should never be a time when you have not willingly confessed your sins to the Lord. All of us are sinners saved by grace and we need to remember where we came from, what He brought us out of.

Forgive Me, Lord

“T” is for thanksgiving for what the Lord has done in your life. Everything we have and all that we are is from Him.

Thankful Heart-Petra

Finally, “S” is supplication. This is telling God what you need and most of us usually start and end and even have this part of prayer as our entire prayer. It is the last thing that we should be approaching the throne for. After adoration, confession and thanksgiving, then we tell God what our needs are, the ones that only He can meet.

Hear My Cry-Maranatha

I generally end my prayers with thanksgiving again, but the pattern above is one that is easy to remember and to follow. I am not saying that all should follow this pattern because I am not a legalistic. I am just suggesting that whatever you pray and however and whenever, you need to remember to include praise, confession and adoration along with your requests. God is your Father, not Santa Claus who brings all the goodies your heart desires. He is your Father who wants what is best for all of us. He may not answer our prayers right away, but His timing is always perfect.

Learning to Be God-Confident

During my growing up years, I was shy and so introverted that I often hid away while others socialized. After I got married, I started becoming more confident, first as a wife and then as a mother. I was confident in my ability to make meals, organize schedules and to also teach if the opportunity presented itself. Now, as I am growing older, I am no longer very confident in my own abilities because my body frequently betrays me. I think I am going to walk from point A to point B with no problems but I stumble and fall along the way. God is teaching me to be God-confident, with total dependence on Him to get me where He wants me to go and to do what He wants me to do. I may be getting weaker but God wants me to know that He is getting stronger within me as I let go of my own self-dependence.

It’s an awesome thing to know that I can completely rely on God. There is no fear or anxiety in being God-confident because my heart tells me that He is steadfast and that He will take care of all of my burdens that I have tried to carry all alone.

When Gideon was called to rescue Israel from the Midianites, his first response was that his tribe was too small and he himself was too weak. God doesn’t need people who are powerful and mighty. He needs those who are submitted to Him and committed to making a difference right where they are.

God wanted Gideon to stop looking at what he didn’t have and to take a close look at Who was fighting for him. He wanted Gideon to be God-confident. When we trust in our own abilities, we may fail (and often do), but when we trust in God, confident in His power and willingness to carry out His plan, then there is no way we can fail. If you want to be a winner in all of the challenges that life hurls at you, one of the first steps is to learn to be God-confident!

Let’s Start the Month with Praise

This verse is short but filled with wisdom and a call to praise God. We are praising Him not for what He has done for us but for Who He is. I hope that you will join me today, pause and just reflect on Who God is…His names and His greatness.

Great Is the Lord-Michael W. Smith

How Great Is Our God

Awesome God-Michael W. Smith

Note: Please excuse the ads in the worship videos above. And enjoy the praise time!

A Testimony and a Praise

These last few months, I have felt as though I knew what it was like to be the desperate woman who reached out to touch Jesus for her healing. I have been to specialist after specialist and had more medical tests than I knew existed, but the answer to my fainting and dizziness has been elusive. Then on Thursday, I saw a Balance Specialist. If you are blinking and looking again to see if you read that right, I can assure you that there is such a thing although it’s a totally new concept to me, too. My cardiologist had done innumerable tests and suggested I see my ENT to check for an inner ear problem. My regular ENT referred me to a Balance Specialist, a physician’s assistant who is actually a specialized physical therapist. I must admit that I went to the office with a little trepidation, wondering what in the world the new test would be like. This likable thirty-ish young man spent about half an hour with me. First he used some goggle like instrument that made me feel as though I were playing a video game in total darkness. He said that was checking my inner ear and there was no problem there. Then he had me lie down on a table, took my blood pressure, sat me up suddenly and took it again. Voila! An answer! It seems that the med that I am taking for my high blood pressure is a Beta blocker that keeps my heart from speeding up as it needs to do when I change positions. As a result, I get dizzy and if it doesn’t correct quickly enough, I faint. So, I was given instructions to talk to my cardiologist about changing or modifying my medicine. It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? But apparently it wasn’t since I have been to five different specialists since February and not one of them picked up on this problem. Anyway, I still have a few more tests to undergo to satisfy my neurologist but I am delighted to have an answer that seems to be something that can be easily addressed. What amazes me is that God knew all along what has been happening and has kept me right in the palm of His hand. I haven’t been frustrated, angry or discouraged as I am accustomed to getting when faced when plans that had to change. God has comforted me and encouraged me that everything will be okay if I am patient.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my “word” for the year is TRUST. I set out at the beginning of the year with the goal in mind that I will learn to lean into the Lord, trusting Him no matter what. God took me at my word and is helping me to fulfill that promise.

I would like to think that the worst is behind me, but even if that is not proven to be true, I know that I can completely trust God’s love for me. My health may not be what I want it to be, but my soul is thriving with God.

This is a quotation from a devotional that I read this week. Hudson Taylor had a lot of challenges in his life, yet he could still write these words and mean them with his whole heart. I plan to copy this and put it on a card on my bathroom mirror, just to remind myself that I am still moving forward and God is still with me, fulfilling His promises to me.

What has God done for you lately? What is your testimony of His greatness in your life? Small things, big things, all things. Give God all the glory!

A Prayer to Start the Day

Before I pray each day, I praise and worship, so let’s start with giving God the honor and glory due His Name.

Just take a few minutes to sit quietly in God’s presence and worship Him, not for what He has done but because of who He is.

My prayer for you today is from God’s Word. May it touch your heart and soul and burrow down deep into the places that you need it most.

Understanding all that God has done for you is key to establishing a relationship of glorifying Him. We can have confident hope that we are His!

But there is more! So much more! The same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead is there for us to tap into once we understand it. We can only get that understanding by spending time with Him. I pray that an urgent desire to spend time with God, understanding His great power and love for you, fills you today. Time with God is precious. Spend it wisely and well, and have a great and blessed day!

My Shield

Lately, I have been going on a “Doc Tour” (a phrase coined by my brother). That means that every week I have been to see at least one physician or to the hospital for a medical test as they ponder why I have been getting lightheaded and dizzy and sometimes even passing out. I must admit that this tour has been somewhat exhausting and discouraging, but God has been with me through it all.

My enemies are not the inhabitants of surrounding lands. Rather, it seems that my own body is in rebellion against me, but God is taking care of things for me, keeping me safe and secure in His loving arms.

I know that the victory is ultimately God’s and no matter what happens to me in this life, He has always held me close to Him and helped me to stay upright with His right hand…the Lord Jesus.

I remember being with young grandchildren and playing the classic game of “Hide and Seek.” It never failed to amuse me when the youngest would come to me and hide behind me, telling me I was their hiding place and I wouldn’t let their big brother or sister “get them.” God taught me through that simple game that He is and always has been my hiding place, the one place that I can count on for total safety and security when I am feeling anxious. Not only that, but He sings His songs of victory over me, giving me a feeling of calm that can only come from His presence.

It’s difficult to be thankful for these circumstances, but I am. I am thankful that God is teaching me to be more dependent on Him and to appreciate each new day as it comes. In the midst of all that has been going on in my life, a sweet friend online received a devastating diagnosis. Less than a month ago, Susan got pneumonia and was having real problems breathing. In the hospital, they did all kinds of tests and discovered that her breast cancer that had been in remission had spread to her lungs and other vital organs. Last week, when she was once again in the hospital, the doctors sent her home with hospice care and gave her less than two weeks to live. My faith cried out to God for more time for her to be with her beloved husband and daughter. However, on Tuesday evening, Susan went to be with the Lord. The odd thing is that I did not question or ask “why” as I am wont to do. Instead, I praised God that Susan is no longer suffering but is in the arms of our Lord and Savior. I prayed for comfort for her family as they grieve and for strength for them to get through these hard days. Susan knew the Lord and depended on Him to take her home when the time is right. That has been a lesson that I have needed to learn and that God is still teaching me. I am thankful that I am teachable and that He has patience with me, even as He shields me, protects me, delivers me and hides me. The doctors may never come up with an answer to this mystifying problem, but God already knows the number of my days and has them in His hand. Thus I don’t need to fret over the things that I cannot control; instead I choose to focus on God’s goodness, grace, mercy and love.

“Through It All”-Andrae Crouch

Important to God

I don’t watch awards shows anymore and it’s not just because they have become such an outright blasphemous display. I stopped watching them long ago when I realized that every award show is just a group of boastful people tooting their own horns loudly. My philosophy is that those who are doing good do it quietly and God rewards them, not the academy of motion pictures or the other musicians or even a group of fans. Doing good is without a lot of fanfare because one generally does it to benefit others, not to make themselves look good. It annoys me when millionaires announce that they have given a great sum of money to a certain charity. I would be more convinced of their generosity if they did it and didn’t then tout it everywhere.

Mother Theresa was a giver, deep in her heart and soul and for all of her life. So what if you don’t feel lauded by the world, appreciated and praised? That is not our purpose here on earth. God made each of us for a reason and He knows how important we are, so that is what really counts.

The Scriptures tell us numerous times not to boast or be filled with pride. The real reward comes from God when we stand before Him and hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” I would rather have a “well done” accolade from the Lord than the applause of many empty-hearted people who don’t even know the real me. God knows the real me, the one that wants to do my best for Him, and He loves me and counts me as worthy of the death of His Son. I’m not really anyone important, but to God, I am His beloved daughter, and that’s enough.

May you be blessed with the knowledge of your worth before the Lord God and know that you are important to Him.