Last night at our small group Bible study, I shared with the group that I have recently been challenged to worship God all the time and that people should know how good He is because I should be overflowing with praise. I asked them how I can get to that point of overflowing with praise for Him. Russ said that he thinks it is tied to our thoughtful and considerate thanksgiving. As we consider all the ways He has blessed us, and as we take time and effort to actually thank Him for all of His goodness to us, then the natural consequence of this is praise. The thing is, it just takes work. We have to make the time and effort to be thankful. It's like turning the crank on the front of an old-timey car - once you get that praise-engine cranked up, it will carry you a good ways.
8 To you, O LORD, I called;
to the Lord I cried for mercy:
9 "What gain is there in my destruction,
in my going down into the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
10 Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me;
O LORD, be my help."
11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the many ways that you have blessed me. Father, I pray that you will recieve glory from my praise as I thank you and consider how wonderful you are. Lord, thank you for Life and hope in the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for redeeming me from destruction. Thank you for my wonderful Christian wife, a great family, and a maturing church congregation. Lord, thank you for giving me purpose, and thank you for the spiritual gifts you've given me for me to use in your Body for the advancement of your Kingdom. Father, thank you for the vocational education and skills that you've blessed me with to help people. Lord, may I remain faithful and obedient to your call on my life. I pray that my joy for you will be sustained by continual thanksgiving. Lord, may you be honored today. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.