Wednesday, March 18, 2009

School Me On Praise

Most of the time I write a post about something I'm learning and ask for your feedback. Today it's the other way around.

I'm making a dedicated effort to include praising God into my everyday life. I don't want it to be contrived, I want it to be a natural part of who I am. Maybe the reason I haven't acknowledged this deficit in my life until now is because I've been saving my praise for myself? You can't answer that, but if I'm being honest it's probably true. Dying to myself is the first part, looking for ways to exalt Him is the second. That's where you come in.

So how do you do it? How do you make praising God part of your routine? What does that look like for you? What advice, scripture, or discipline would you recommend?

I've got a willing heart, a need for God, and a way to talk to you.

I'll take all the feedback I can get. So school me...


Rebecca Jo said...

Oh my goodness.... that little girl... that is the sweetest thing ever... can you imagine how God just beamed hearing that???

sundog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sundog said...

Sometimes I think we define 'praise' too narrowly. I think praise is a lifestyle, not a moment when we stop and sing a song of worship to God… although that can be part of it. I believe we praise more often than we realize… every time we marvel at God’s creation, put another’s needs before our own, get down and dirty in ministry, or whatever he has called us to do. I find that in my busy life, little moments of awe and reverence for what he has done… whether it’s eating a banana or reflecting on my journey and the salvation of those I love… those are my moments of true praise. Sometimes I almost burst into tears at the joy of it all. If I am honest, I probably could do much better in the focused praise area and your comment ‘saving my praise for myself’ struck a chord in me. I look forward to hearing everyone’s answers.

Raw Faith Real World said...

Yesterday we were having summer weather. In the midst of my crazy workday I went to the drug store. When I was checking out I mentioned the weather and how nice it would be to be out in it. The guy checking me out said. "Yeah that's true, but in this economy it is such a blessing to have a job I'm so thankful for it... they'll be other nice days to enjoy when I can." It was a good reminder to me to actively have a heart that is thankful and praises God. Normally when I'm having a tough time I sit down and make a list of what I have to be thankful for and things to praise God... yesterday not so much.

When it comes to praise and worship the one non-negotiable in my life is that late at night when my husband is asleep and I'm done working, I sit down with my guitar, (when my arms are still working) turn the lights down, and spend some time just praying and worshiping, and thanking God for His faithfulness to get me through another day. No matter how troubled or weary or whatever I start out, I always finish with a sense of God's love and mercy and forgiveness and His real strength to sustain me for another day. No matter how much life depletes me along the way. I know that life throws at me I know He meets me there.

Anonymous said...

For the past year or so I have been working on gratitude, which I think is an aspect of praise. When I pray at the end of the day, I think of three good things that happened, and thank God for them. What I've been trying to do recently recognize the good gifts I get as I get them and thank God for them on the spot.

I wrote about this last year:

eastern ky pastor said...

If I may humbly submit, for me praise must start with realizing that I'm talking to someone real and not an abstract. Sometimes I suspect we have an idea who Jesus is, but we don't really know Him as a person.

Praise then is the natural interaction between a Believer and Christ. When you give Dan an atta boy, what causes that? I suspect that a similar reaction will occur when you are spending time with your Savior.

Praise also has to be intentional, in my opinion. Anyone can sing a song, but it isn't worshipful, until it is full of worship (to do the cute pastor sermon twist of a word). And I believe that anything and everything can and should be worship. 1 Corinthians 10:31.

That's all for now. Any further schooling would require registering at SCL Bible School!

Donna said...

praise....for me, acknowledging God's presence....everywhere, in or out of the presence of others...... said...

I sometimes read the Psalms and mix that with prayer and with thinking about God and his good works. Try kneeling down with your Bible open to the Psalms. Schedule a set time that you will stick with it, maybe 15 minutes or a half hour. You can go over the time you set, but put in at least as much time as you decide ahead of time. Read a little, think about what God has done and is doing and will do, and when you think of something to pray about, pray.

The Psalms are full of prayers of praise, and their examples can remind us of things to praise God about.

Reading the Psalms this way helps to take the pressure off of thinking of things to pray about. When you don't feel you have something to say to God, keep reading until you do.

We can also praise God by living the way of life He commands in the Bible.

Anonymous said...

1. Wake Up
2. step into a hot shower
3. Thank God for hot water
4. Progress through morning routine
5. Step outside - breathe deep - say Thank You

Stacy from Louisville said...

These are awesome! I love what is being said. Thank you! I can't wait to get even more and refer to this as a resource. Hope it will be the same for all of you.

Anonymous said...

I agree that these are so encouraging to read. I feel like lately I've been doing a lot more complaining than praising, and a lot more questioning than accepting. But I really believe, no matter how cheesy it sounds, that acting towards others in the way that you KNOW God would act toward them can change your entire attitude. I think God delights the most when he sees the love of one of his children for another.

Helen said...

Clayton McDonald passed away today. He praised God through his pain and difficulties. His trust in God throughout was a high form of praise indeed. I can't imagine a higher one.
Singing a hymn in the morning is excellent.
Reading from the Bible is excellent.
Trusting God through difficulties....WOW! That was what was really so sweet about that little girl in the video: her complete trust and love for Him.

I have shared here before that I struggle with infertility. If I could only l say honestly in prayer "Dear God, I want a baby more than anything. But I trust you. Do with me what you will." that would be praising God more deeply than my songs or Bible readings, or compllimentary words, I hope to get there one day.

John 14:1 Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God. Trust also in me. said...


It is interesting that you have mentioned child bearing in the context of praising God, because there are some outstanding examples of women in the Bible praising God for being able to bear children. There is the example of Hannah who was barren, but eventually God answered her prayer (1 Samuel 1:1-28). Then Hannah praised God, and her prayer is recorded in 1 Samuel 2:1-10. Leah was not barren, but she was thankful for the children God gave her and named one of them Judah, meaning "praise" and perhaps "thanksgiving" also. It is Judah and Benjamin who are the anscestors of the Jews and it is from Judah that the Jews got their name.

Perhaps these examples may be encouraging to you, especially the example of Hannah. Also, Rachel was barren for a long time, but God eventually answered her prayer (Genesis 29:31, 30:22-24). Sarah also was barren for a long time till God gave her a son (Genesis 16:1, 18:13-14, 21:1-7).

I also will pray that God will grant your request.

daphne said...

i did send you a praise email before i even read this. mostly I just thank Him for loving me despite me. I say than You and thank You for the Cross a lot and try to keep the perspective that I was loved before I was born and accept that love. That gives me reason enough to praise

Gabrielle Eden said...

Stacy - don't make praising God your routine. Make your disciplines simply getting into the word more, and early in the day.

I was just reading about Smith Wigglesworth, who was filled with the power of God and used to do many miracles. He had much love. He couldn't read until later in life so he only read the bible.

I learned from that and decided that it is so important to read that bible!!

I am now taking it more seriously.

Just sit down and read.

It will inspire the Spirit's power in your life.

This will in turn inspire more praise.

Don't force praise. That's like forcing love.

Remember, we're in a relationship here. You don't force love in a relationship. He loves us first. Let him love you by reading His love letter.

Don't read the bible like reading a book. Always know that you are meeting God when you are in the Word. It is a living book.

Also, I have been confessing my sin of selishness. Remember, if we confess he is faithful to forgive and to cleanse.

I hope this helps.

Alison said...

Ok Stacy - you really made me think about this one, and I had to give it a day to soak in.

I have to admit I'm not the best at praising, and not the best at speaking to others about Him. This past year, I've been through a struggle I never expected, and many people have commented on how I've handled things. This one struggle has provided more "easy" opportunities for me to praise God publicly, while presenting His love to other people. The simplest "It's really God who has gotten me through this." gives Him the glory and tells others about how He works in my life. It's been tough, but at the same time amazing.

I'm trying to be better at praising Him in my personal life, but sometimes it seems complete inadequate of me to try and tell Him how awesome He is.
First - He already knows.
Second - my human words seem ridiculous compared to the reality of Him.
But - I keep trying, and know that Christ and the Spirit will handle the translations!

Tasty said...

Hi, Stacy. Whenever you look at your daughter and son with acceptance instead of irritation, you are praising God. Whenever you look at a homeless person and offer him or her a loving look and a sandwich, you are praising God. Whenever you show mercy instead of anger, whenever you appreciate your life instead of long for another, whenever you care for another human, you praise God. Whenever you minister to others through your words, you praise.

I don't see this as a discipline; I understand it as extending love.

Matthew 25.45.

katdish said...

Stace (snort) -

This is one of my favorite songs.

I posted it awhile back on my blog. My favorite line is "when my memories take the place of You. Jesus come."

He is constant. It's me that's all over the place. This song helps me remember the proper order of things.

katdish said...

Stacy - please visit HLAC to view your consolation prize in the Super Skanktacular Saturday Giveaway.

Paul Maurice Martin said...

Loving others, to the best of my ability, has been my way of praising God. I guess you could say that my personal take on the two greatest commandments is "Love others to love God." The first is a way to the second. Seems like Jesus is a good example there.