I love to receive compliments, it always brings a smile to my face. I love giving them even more, especially to those around me who seem to be in need of one to brighten their day. As a mom, it feels great when my kids appreciate something I’ve made for them or put a lot of time or energy into, to fulfill their little heart’s desires.
God has been speaking to my heart regarding how much He too loves to receive compliments and appreciation.
At times I’ve felt that praising God can be somewhat of a forced act, especially when my flesh is not in the mood. Many times it does come more easily and naturally to worship God, but just as many time my brain feels like it’s hit a wall or I sing the exact same songs (generally from the ’90s) or “praises” over and over again… praise no longer feels genuine but rather like a stuck gramophone. I know God understands my heart, but I long for a greater connection to Him in this area.
At times my brain complains… “Why do I have to praise God?” or “It’s gotta be easier than this…?” or the most common one, “Why do I feel like I run out of “ideas” of what to say after praising Him for just 30 seconds!” My spirit yearns for something my mind can not seem to accomplish. So, as with anything I don’t grasp, I went into full research mode and most importantly tried to listen to the Holy Spirit’s direction on the subject.
I discovered that as with anything regarding the Lord, there is more to praising Him than meets the eye! For example, there are eight different meanings to the Hebrew word for “praise”! Also, praising God benefits our lives more than we can imagine…but more about those in my next blog… what I want to share now, is a gift I felt the Holy Spirit give me to help break through my mental wall when it comes to praising God “easily”. As with God, it is often a lot simpler than we expect!
Using the word “praise”, I turned it into a type of acronym… using each letter to praise God for one of His characteristics.
P – (Give Praise/Pray to the Lord) – Perfect, Powerful, Prince of Peace, Patient, Playful, Precious, Pure, Priceless, etc.
R – Redeemer, Righteous, Royal, (Yahweh) Rohi (Shepherd), Radiant, Reliable, Restorative, Revered, etc.
A – Amazing, Awesome, Alpha & Omega, Almighty God, Able to more than we can imagine, Accepting, Accessible, Abounding in Love, etc.
I – Indescribable, I AM (Yahweh), Incredible, etc.
S – Saviour, Sovereign, Sanctified, Shepherd, Sustainer, Spirit of the Most High, Strength, Strong Tower, Supporter, Sacred, etc.
E – Eternal, Everlasting, Elohim, etc.
This “exercise” helps warm up my brain as well as align my heart and spirit with God, giving me time to focus on Him, and as I do, I find I’ve been able to break through my mental wall/”flesh” and praise God in spirit and in truth! As I begin to pray I also strive to thank Him for all He has done in my life, all the blessings He has bestowed upon me first… Psalm 100:4 says:
“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name…”
As I focus on what I am thankful for first, I find that my praise for God also comes far more easily and naturally as my mind is already set on thankfulness to Him.
There are several other resources, see below, that help me as I learn to walk throughout the day in a mindset of thankfulness and praise. As with everything, the more you do it the easier and more natural it becomes so that soon God’s “praise will forever be on [your] lips“! Also, the awesome thing is that the more time you spend with Him, the more your heart, soul and spirit and even flesh desire to praise Him!
- Keep a “Thankfulness Journal” – jot down all that you are grateful for from that day, week, etc.
- Keep a “Praise Journal” (could be the same book as above) – to jot down verses, songs, quotes, etc. that speak of your heart regarding praising God.
- Read Psalms, Song of Soloman, etc. .. they are full of praises to God!
- Download a list of all of God’s names and meanings… there are a lot and it is awesome to learn more of God’s character through His names or as you read the Bible make your own list.
- Download or buy a book (with all the lyrics) of your favorite worship songs…whether you have a pitch-perfect voice or no vocal harmony, God loves to hear you sing praises to Him or write your own songs!
- Blast your favorite praise and worship music to sing along!
I’d love to hear about how you “enter into His courts with praise” and the different ways in which you praise God!