“Why should I praise God? Because it gets my focus off myself and onto God — so I can talk to Him and not at him. That’s why we start with praise.”
Each evening as we sit down to eat dinner, our two children start to jump out of their seats. “I want to pray!” one will shout. “No – I want to pray!” the other will retort. Some evenings I’ll tell them that they can both say a prayer…
The other day, as I listened to my three-year-old thank Jesus for our food, I began to think of the way we praise God for the food we’re about to eat before we eat it. It seems like such a small thing, but it’s really quite significant. Before we taste the food, we praise God for providing a satisfying, delicious meal. It shows that we trust in Him, and want to make glorifying His name a first priority – even before our growling stomachs.
But here’s food for thought – does this carry over into our regular prayer life, or do we leave it at the dinner table? Do we make a habit of praising God for the way He’s answered our prayers before we see them answered? Or do we cry out impatiently, whining to God about what’s taking Him so long?
In Isaiah 65:24, the LORD God says this: “Even before they call, I will answer; while they are still speaking, I will hear.” This is a promise of Scripture that we can absolutely count on…. so why don’t we pray like it?
We’re trying to sell our home quickly so we can move to New Mexico and begin our new ministry, but those interested in buying the house continue to change their minds. Through it all, I’ve offered more than a few impatient prayers – but lately I’ve had to catch myself. Is that the level of faith I want to demonstrate for my children…. for my future congregation?
So now I’m ignoring my tendency to worry, and will use my energy instead to praise God for the miraculous way He’s going to care for us. I may not be able to see His perfect answer yet, but I know that even before I called out to Him, He had answered already.
Let’s praise Him today!
Photo Credit: Grace, photograph by Eric Enstrom, 1918 (public domain)