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Friday, March 9, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 9

Prayers of Praise continued...

Psalm 148:11-13, “Kings of the earth and all peoples; Princes and all judges of the earth; both young men and maidens; Old men and children. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted; His glory is above the earth and heaven.”

No man is above giving praise to God. No man is above bringing prayers of praise to the heavenly Father. Whether you are a king, a prince, a young man or a maiden, an old man or a child, praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted.

It’s oddly strange and somehow unseemly when we praise men with greater fervor, eagerness, and passion than we do the one true God. We’ll scream our throats raw at a football game, we’ll chase down some has been country singer until they take a restraining order out on us just for an autograph, but when it comes to God, all we can manage to do is ask Him for stuff, then shake our fists toward heaven when the stuff isn’t quick enough in getting to us.

His name alone exalted, therefore His name alone is worthy of praise.

Through prayers of praise, we not only bring praise to the name of God, we manifest our respect, our admiration, and our gratitude towards Him in spoken word. How can we not pray prayers of praise to a God such as ours? How can we not admire Him, and adore Him, and manifest our gratitude toward Him for all the things that He has done?

Isaiah 25:1, “O Lord, You are my God. I will exalt You, I will praise Your name, for You have done wonderful things; Your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.”

There is nothing wrong with prayer of petitions. We are encouraged in the word of God to ask that it might be given to us, and to knock that it might be opened, but it would be a beautiful thing if just one day a week, we would put our prayers of petition on hold, and dedicate that day in exclusivity to prayers of praise to God.

Take one day a week to praise His name for the wonderful things He has already done, one day to praise Him for being our Lord and our God, one day without petitions, lists, or demands, just one day a week to acknowledge His greatness and show our gratitude and admiration.

There will always be a need, there will always be something to pray about, something to ask God for, and we go from one thing to another, often times not bothering to acknowledge and give praise to Him for the prayers He has already answered, for the situations He has already clarified, and for the blessings He has already bestowed upon us.

Even the most loving of parents grows weary when all their child does every hour of every day is ask for more, never bothering to say ‘thank you’ or ‘I appreciate you’.

Only one who knows God can offer up prayers of praise to Him. If an individual does not know God, if an individual has no relationship with Him, then they will never acknowledge all the wondrous things God has done in them, for them, and through them, because they are blind to the reality of the spiritual around them.

When we know God, when we have an established relationship with Him, our eyes become open, we become aware, and we can’t help but bring praise to Him for snatching us from the darkness and bringing us into His eternal light, for healing our hearts, for renewing our minds, for reconciling us unto Himself, and for calling us sons and daughters.

No matter how many prayer books one might have read or even memorized, if they have no relationship with Christ, if they do not know Him as their all in all, their prayers, however beautiful to our ears, however eloquent and moving, will be dry and brittle and hollow in the sight of God. It is our son ship, it is having been grafted into the family of God, it is having cemented a relationship with the heavenly Father that gives life to our prayers, that animates our words, feeble as they might be, and carries them to the throne room of God.

One who simply prays for prayer’s sake, yet maintains no ongoing relationship with God can pray the most eloquent of prayers and still go unheard, yet one who knows God as Father, and Lord, and King and Friend, can pray a simple prayer, and have there be silence in the halls of heaven as God hears it.

When Isaiah says ‘Oh Lord, You are My God’ it is not an aphorism, it is a declaration and statement of fact!

Isaiah knew the Lord as his God, personally, and intimately. When he prayed, it was not a formality, it was not out of necessity or a sense of duty, it was out of love and a desire to be in the presence of His God, a true and sincere need to bring praise to His holy name because His counsels are faithfulness and truth.

The instant we know God, the instant we know His love, His power, and His grace, we can’t help but adore Him, we can’t help but praise Him. The reasons we ought to praise God are as numerous as the sands of the sea, and every day we discover a new reason to adore Him and exalt Him.

When we think about the goodness of the Lord, when we think about the mercy of the Lord, when we think of all that He has done for us in sending Christ Jesus, there is ample reason for prayers of praise to be on our lips in continuity, until the day we breathe our last upon this earth.

Psalm 139:14, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.”

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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