Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Reasons to Praise God TODAY!

I've got so many reasons to Praise God today. Here's a few of them:

  • Praise God for medicine that heals!
  • Praise God for my healthy family!
  • Praise God for answering prayers to heal my friend's son that fell out of a 2nd story window last week!
  • Praise God for sending Jesus to die on the cross for me. Without Him, I would be headed to hell for sure!
  • Praise God for Thanksgiving and my mom's cooking! Can't wait for that!
  • Praise God for a home and shelter from the cold.
  • Praise God for a husband that works hard and provides for his family!
  • Praise God for a school to send my kids to where they can pray and learn about the Bible.
  • Praise God for my church and our church leaders.
  • Praise God for the country I live in. I don't have to worry about praising God in public!
  • Praise God I have eyes to see and ears to hear!
  • Praise God for the laundry!

Ok, I'm stopping with the laundry. I'm not sure I could list all my house chores in one list of praises! (-:

Blessings to all those reading this. Please let me know what you are praising God for today!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Praise the Lord!!!

PRAISE THE LORD! What an easy thing to say. With all the things we are blessed with in this world, particularly within the US, you would think we would hear that phrase more often. I don't know about you, but I don't hear it enough. I hear people honking their horns a lot in traffic. I see people getting frustrated in stores. I even see people becoming impatient in the carpool line at my kid's private school!! I see and hear a lot of negativity, but not as much praising the Lord for all the good things we have. I read in the Bible we should praise God in ALL circumstances. So why is it we don't hear more praising?

I'm guilty of this. It seems easier to complain than to praise. And to praise God in ALL circumstances, now...that's a hard one. I don't really feel like praising God when my kids are sick and I've been up all night. I sure don't feel like praising God when the laundry is piled up. Now I love Jesus with all my heart, but some things just don't make me think of praising Him. That guy that honked his horn at me earlier today didn't make me think of praising my Father for sure.

But what if instead of getting mad or frustrated, I started praising Jesus. What if I said "Lord, thank you for having a car to drive and for protecting me in traffic" when that guy honked his horn at me today instead of what I was thinking. And what if I started praising Him when I was doing the stuff I really couldn't care less the laundry. I wonder what would happen.

I want to live a life that is pleasing to God. I know I will never be perfect and I'll mess up from time to time, but I want to try my best. The Bible says that God inhabits the praises of His people. That means when I start praising God, He is right there with me. That gives me a Partner with the laundry and in traffic. And not just any partner, but yet the One that can guide me, encourage me, protect me, and love me unconditionally. I think that's a great reason to praise Him.

So, how do we praise Him? Here's my list:
  • by singing
  • verbally
  • by our lifestyles
  • by lifting our hands
  • by giving to others
  • by serving others
  • special celebrations
  • witnessing to others

Really, anything we do and give God the glory is giving praises to Him.

What are ways that you praise the Lord? Email me and let me know.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

How Should We Pray?

How interesting it is to talk about prayer with your friends. I did that yesterday at Bible study and I feel like I learned so much through my wonderful Bible study friends. We talked about the affects of praying and here's some of the things we discussed:
  1. Through prayer, you get a sense of peace.
  2. Through prayer, you may receive signs from the Lord.
  3. Through prayer, you can expect to see miracles.
  4. Through prayer, sometimes you get a delayed response from the Lord, but His timing is always perfect!
  5. Through prayer, sometimes the Lord will send others to encourage you.
  6. Through prayer, sometimes you get an unexpected solution or answer.
  7. Through prayer, sometimes you get a direct answer.

We also talked about how we should pray. One of the things I think I failed to mention but should is that the best way to learn to pray is by praying! An example of this is my relationship with my parents. The older I get, the better I am at communicating with them. That is because I know them better and better the more I communicate with them. It's the same with God. The more we pray and communicate with Him, the better we get at it.

Communicating with God doesn't have to be a recited prayer every time. As a matter of fact, it's good just talk to God and share your thoughts with Him. Now, it's not bad to recite prayers such as the Lord's Prayer found in Matthew 6. I'm sure the Lord delights in us praying that prayer! However, I feel He wants more from us, not just the same recited prayer over and over. And speaking of The Lord's Prayer, it's a great guideline for things we need to remember in prayer...

  • Give honor to God
  • Ask for blessings on our world and others
  • Ask for our needs
  • Ask for forgiveness
  • Ask for deliverance

And how do we remember to pray? One thing I've started doing is making myself a reminder for prayer. I heard someone say one time that they decided to pray at every red light they were sitting at in traffic. I thought that was a grand idea. I'm sure we could all come up with some reminders for prayer.....maybe prayer praying for a specific friend with cancer every time you see the color pink....maybe when you cross a bridge you pray for a friend that is at a crossroads in life...maybe when you see an ambulance or emergency vehicle you pray for the health care workers. If we put our minds to it, we can always come up with some reminders for prayer.

We need to get our minds in the right position for prayer. A good way to do this is to start with Praise. I feel all our prayers should begin with saying thanks to God. Thanks for our world. Thanks for our family and friends. Thanks for dieing on the cross for us. Thanks for the food we eat and the homes we have. This humbles us and focuses our minds on God at the beginning of our prayers. And honestly, we should be singing praises of thanksgiving all day long to our Savior and our King!

If you have some thoughts on prayer, please post them on this blog or email them to me and I'll post them for you.