Monday, March 12, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 12

Prayers of Praise continued...

Besides bringing praise to God through our songs, our testimonies, and our lives, we can also bring praise to God through our prayers. The word of God, especially the Psalms are full of examples of prayers of praise, prayed by various individuals, in various circumstances.

Tragically, the weakest and most limited prayers we pray are often times the prayers of praise we offer unto God.

There seems to be no shortage of prayers of petition, there seems to be no shortage of prayers of request, but when it comes to prayers of praise we can’t seem to find the words or the energy to fervently and passionately praise God.

Jesus Himself prayed prayers of praise to God on various occasions, and if Jesus prayed such prayers it is only logical to conclude that they are an important part of our relationship and fellowship with the heavenly Father.

Luke 10:21, “In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, ‘I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth that you have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for it seemed good in Your sight.”

When we pray prayers of praise to God, it has more to do with who He is rather than what He does for us. When we approach God concerning something He has done for us, we pray prayers of thanks and appreciation. When we come before Him with prayers of praise, it is for who He is.

We praise God for who He is, we thank Him for what He does.

Prayers of praise and prayers of thanks can be likened to twin sisters, both similar in appearance, but individual in their nature.

In order to be able to praise God, we must know Him. We must know His nature, we must know His attributes, we must know His love, and His mercy toward us. If we have no knowledge of who God is, we can never adequately praise Him. If we have no knowledge of all His wondrous attributes, we will always be at a loss in our prayers of praise.

In reading the word of God, we discover the multitude of reasons we should bring prayers of praise to Him.

Deuteronomy 4:7, “For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the Lord our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him?”

If you are a child of God, then know that He is near, and you may call upon Him for whatever reason. The fact that God is always near, wherever you might find yourself in this world, is a reason to bring prayers of praise before Him. Whether in the valley or on the mountaintop, in the desert or near the stream, in the city or out in the country, by yourself or surrounded by friends and family, God is near, and for whatever reason, you may call upon Him.

For this fact alone, God is deserving of our prayers of praise both day and night. He is not an absentee God, He is not a distant God, He is not a disinterested God, He is a God who is always near, who always hears.

There are few things more comforting in this present life, especially in our seasons of loneliness than the knowledge that God is near. You can speak to Him, you can pour your heart out to Him, you can stand in His presence and be encouraged and edified and strengthened.

Psalm 46:1-3, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its welling. Selah”

Another reason to pray prayers of praise to God is His faithfulness. Not only is He near, He is ever faithful and true to His children. He is a very present help in time of trouble, He is our refuge and our strength, and though the world crumble around us, though the mountains be carried into the heart of the sea, we will not fear, for we know the faithfulness of He whom we worship.

We need only open our eyes to the reality of who our God is in order to be motivated to praise Him. Our God is worthy of our praise, not once in a while, not only when we are gathered together in fellowship once or twice a week, but every day, wherever we might find ourselves, however busy we might think ourselves to be.

Upon considering all the wondrous attributes of God, the Psalmist testifies that seven times a day he praises Him, for He is ever deserving of the prayers of praise we bring before the altar.

It is when we begin to consider God rather than ourselves, who He is rather than what He can give us that prayers of praise begin to swell in our hearts, and pour from our lips. It is when we acknowledge our frailty and His omnipotence, our faithlessness and His faithfulness, our weakness and His strength, our indifference and His love, that we fall to our knees and praise Him for all that He is.

If God is always near, if God is always present, does not the fault for our failure to have a relationship with Him fall on us? If God is always there, is it not we who find other things with which to occupy our time in lieu of spending time with Him?

Too often man is quick to blame God for things He holds no blame for. We refuse, and ardently so to admit and acknowledge that we were in the wrong, that it was our indifference, our absence of conviction, our lack of burning desire that have kept us from knowing Him more fully and completely. We would rather pass the buck, and lay the blame at the doorstep of anyone else other than our own.

God is not to blame! He is always near, He is a present help in time of trouble, He is our refuge and our strength, and if we are lacking in our relationship with Him, it is our fault and ours alone.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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