Saturday, March 10, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 10

Prayers of Praise continued...

There are various ways by which we bring praise to God. Perhaps the most common way in which we bring praise to God, is through song. Songs of praise to God are a beautiful expression of our adoration toward Him. Granted, even the songs we sing in churches nowadays aren’t what they used to be, but there are still enough hymn books floating about, still enough men and women writing worshipful songs of praise, wherein only those that have no desire to praise God in song will not find a suitable song to sing.

You may think me an old fuddy-duddy, you may think me old fashioned, you might even think me obsolete and outmoded, but yes, I have an issue with the ambiguous songs many a church has chosen to embrace in our day and age. When a song can be sung in a bar just as readily as it can be sung in a church, there is something there that just doesn’t sit right with me. When you’ve got ten verses plus a chorus with no mention of Jesus or God, with no mention of the cross or the Savior, there’s just this intangible sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. We sing praises to God, and in our song there should be no ambiguity about this fact.

No, one need not have perfect pitch; one need not even be able to carry a tune to sing a song of praise to God, because He inhabits the praises of His people, and not their ability to hit high notes. As with most things we do as unto God, He judges the heart rather than how pretty a song sounds to our ears. If praise of God through song comes from your heart, and not merely your lips, then sing on brother, sing on sister, make a joyful noise unto the Lord, and lay aside your trepidation as to whether or not you were in the right key, or if you hit the low notes as you ought.

Psalm 28:7, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.”

So why do we praise the Lord in song? Is it so a talent scout might discover us and make us stars? Is it so the other brothers or sisters in the church might be envious of our golden voice? Is it so we might impress the brethren, or have our fifteen minutes in the spotlight? If these are the reasons we praise the Lord in song, then we aren’t doing it as unto Him, we are doing it for ourselves, as unto ourselves, and with the vested interest of boosting our pride.

We sing unto the Lord because He is our strength. We sing unto the Lord because He is our shield. We sing unto the Lord because we trusted Him, and He has helped us. We sing unto the Lord because our hearts greatly rejoice in the knowledge that He has put a hedge of protection around us, and that we are safe under the shadow of His wings.

Another way, by which we bring praise to God, is through our testimonies concerning the goodness, love, mercy and grace of our Father. By testifying of God, and His goodness, we are bringing praise to Him.

Psalm 56:8-13, “You number my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book? When I cry out to You, then my enemies will turn back; this I know, because God is for me. In God (I will praise His word), In the Lord (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? Vows made to You are binding upon me, O God; For you have delivered my soul from death. Have you not delivered my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?”

The preceding excerpt is from a psalm of David, one counted among his golden psalms, which he penned when captured by the Philistines in Gath. Herein we see the testimony of David, a testimony of praise. David testifies that he knows God is for him, and as such his enemies will be turned back when he cries out to God. David likewise testifies that he knows God has delivered his soul from death, and his feet from falling, that he might walk before God in the light of the living. This is the essence of a testimony of praise, a testimony concerning the strength and faithfulness of God, as well as the goodness and grace He showed to David.

Yes, we bring praise to God through our testimonies, through testifying of all the things that God has done on our behalf, and when we have eyes to see, we will acknowledge as David did the many pitfalls from which God spared us, as well as the many times He has delivered our souls from death.

When we praise God and His word, it is the opposite of being ashamed or embarrassed. I mention this, only because Christ Himself forewarned those who would be ashamed of Him and His words, that He would likewise be ashamed of them when the Son of Man comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.

Be not ashamed to testify of all that God has done in your life; be not ashamed to testify of all the wondrous works of God, because by your testimony you bring praise to God.

Psalm 44:8, “In God we boast all day long, and praise Your name forever. Selah”

What sweet sacrifice it would be if we boasted in God rather than ourselves all day long. What sweet sacrifice it would be if we gloried in His name rather than attempting to elevate our own.

When we boast in ourselves, we are fools boasting in fools, but when we boast in God, we are as wise men, justified in our boasting of Him.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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