April 16, 2010

Thankfulness

A friend of mine gave me, "The Prayer that Changes Everything" by Stormie Omartian. I have never really read any of her books before, but I was familiar with her name. I didn't know her story either (oh, my goodness!), but was so encouraged by it. In this book, the entire focus is on praising and worshipping God in the midst of every circumstance. I am all about Praise, and I love to Worship the Lord, but I am just like everyone else...When life intervenes and the circumstances get me down, my praise and worship seem to go down, down, down right along with my countenance.

I have enjoyed this book because it reminds me of the Sovereignty of God. In the Word, it says that the "Lord inhabits the praises of His People." It is not specific as to when He does this, as in only on Sunday's or only when things are really bad. No, the Lord inhabits our Praise whenever and where ever we choose to offer it to Him. He is there for us in the midst of our Praise. We just need to remember that and then offer Him Praise when we need it most (and when things are OK and going just fine).

I forget to praise God, especially when I am in the midst of turmoil or under great stress. I retreat to Him, I seek His comfort, but I forget to offer Him Praise. There is so much for me to thank Him for, even when I don't feel good or think things are not going as they should. I can sit down and come up with a list of 10-12 things immediately, just starting with being alive. Why can I not Praise Him without forcing myself each time?

The truth is this: we simply forget to do it. We let our lives and our busy schedule keep us from Praising God. We will go to Him when we are frustrated or angry or hurt, but not when we are happy and contented. He desires to spend time with us, and He does when we pray. He also comes to us when ever we Worship Him.

My prayer today is to cultivate a Spirit of Praise and Worship that is not dependent upon anything or any one. I want to sing Praises to Him, to recite hymns and other songs, and give Him the Praise that is due His Name -- regardless of my situation or circumstance. I want to do it when I am most vulnerable or sad or hurt (when I really just want to be comforted). I want to do it when things don't seem to be working out the way they should or when I think they should be different than they really are. I want my Praise to be consistent -- every day, every moment of the day, and with the pure intention of Worshipping the One True God. May this be the case today, tomorrow and every day until I am able to stand and do it before His Presence in Glory.

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