Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Praise Practice

I have prayed with people who weep, with folk who sing their prayers, and with people who pray through lists. At first, I did what most novices do. I compared myself with seasoned pray-ers and their various styles.

I thought, 'There's no way I can pray like her!' But my heart longed to improve. To pray better. More effectively.

So I started asking God to help me pray like the ones who seemed confident that God was hearing. They seemed to know God well. I would recognize Scripture woven into their prayers with praise sprinkled everywhere.

Praised flowed fluently from one of my friends, while I found praising God beyond 30 seconds difficult. It was just too easy to fall back into asking for things!

To replace my old gimme habit with a longer time of praise, I found the Scriptures the best tool. I'd find a psalm and make the words my own.

As I did that more frequently and for longer times, I found my heart became lighter. It was easier to tell God how I loved and appreciated Him. I started smiling more.

That motivated me to find other passages to pray: Chronicles, Revelation, Ephesians. The more I joined Biblical streams of praise, the more my heart flowed with joy. Practice praying the scriptures gave me what both God and I wanted. I was enjoying His "river of delights."

"How priceless is your unfailing love!
Both high and low among men
find refuge in the shadow of your wings.

They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.

For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light."
Psalm 36:7-9, NIV

For Your Consideration

If you've never tried practicing praise, perhaps you can ask God's help to guide you to scriptures you can turn into prayers.

Do you find that the more you praise, the more God whets your appetite for His presence? I'd love to hear your experiences.

Try timing yourself. Thirty seconds is longer than you think!

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