Sunday, January 31, 2010

The power of praise

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Psalm 71:1-24

TO CHEW ON: “Let my mouth be filled with Your praise
And with Your glory all the day…
My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness
And Your salvation all the day…
My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing to you… (Psalm 71:8, 15, 23)

The tongue is a pesky body part for bad and a powerful one for good. What we say can bog our hearers in a swamp of contradictions  or lift their attention Godward. There certainly seems to be a power in uttering things aloud, as in nailing down our thoughts in the physical act of speech.

That’s why Psalm 71 is so potent. It acknowledges the impact of out-loud utterance – by speech or singing – in the act of praising God. Eight times in this psalm the writer refers to speaking or singing our praise.

A footnote in my Bible puts it this way:
“His repetitious use of words such as mouth, praise, mention, declare, sing, lips, tongue, emphasizes the fact that praise is to be expressed openly in the congregation and not only as quiet thoughts in a secluded garden of meditation.” – New Spirit Filled Life Bible p. 739

This Sunday as you meet with fellow Christians in church, or host them in your home, or share a meal with family or friends in a restaurant, or spend time with neighbors in recreation, add to your conversation a little praise of God – for who He is and what He has done for you.

PRAYER: Dear God, may praise of You and my mouth be close acquaintances, today and always. Amen.

MORE: When praise doesn’t come naturally
Sometimes the circumstances in our lives are so far from ideal, praise for and in them seems like a contradiction. But those are just the times we need to dial up the praise even more.

Harold Hill (author of How To Live Like A King’s Kid) in the introduction to his book How to Live in High Victory lists ten steps to a victorious lifestyle. Praise figures in three of them:

1. Wrap everything in PRAISE and turn it over to Jesus as joint heirs with Him of the results.

2. Refuse to be impressed by appearances.

3. Do the next thing, and trust Jesus for guiding your paths: Proverbs 3:5-6.

4. Form the habit of PRAISE in the midst of, in spite of, or on account of whatever is going on: 1 Thes 5:16-18; Ephesians 5:18-20; Hebrews 13:15.

5. Learn to listen to God.

6. Don’t ask anyone else’s opinion about the guidance God gives you.

7. Stop doubting that God really did speak to you.

8. When God’s guidance comes, act immediately, PRAISING Him for results.

9. When doubt enters pray: “I’m going into action Lord. If I’m on a second-best course of action, it’s up to You to block me. But if I’m on the right road, open all doors and benefit everyone concerned.”

10. Pray: “Lord, make me as holy as You can make a sinner saved by grace.”

Melissa Boraski sings “I Will Praise You” (a song that talks about praising God in every situation) on this YouTube video, lyrics by Andy Park - Vineyard Music.

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