I love it when God gets up in my face and confronts my spiritual lethargy!
I was complaining about how lackluster my spiritual life had become, and the Holy Spirit pointed out that the spirit of praise and thanksgiving in my life had petered out.
I couldn’t–and wouldn’t–even try to argue with Him. Knowing the joy and peace that I had enjoyed in personal and corporate times of praise and worship, I could only confess, in agreement with Him, that it was indeed my fault–and my loss.
Praise cures parched stretches of time during which the last thing on your mind is praise. Your spirit, however, longs to praise even before your soul and body can catch up to that longing in your spirit. Every pore might be screaming out against praising God. But praise brings incomparable spiritual healing. It can turn around situations that seem insurmountable and bring peace where turmoil would love to rule. The devil is such a liar!
So I turned to prayer, asking God to renew a heartfelt desire for praise and to create “praise pauses” in my daily life. I suspect such a prayer request brought a smile to His face.
Little by little, the old praisin’ Alison started to return, even when circumstances around me hadn’t changed. I began to anticipate those cherished times of worship alone and to praise and worship with other believers. My prayer journal reflects this return to intimacy with God.
- 2/23/13: “I fight the enemy’s attacks with praise and thanksgiving.”
- 3/24/13: “I look back and see that my spiritual life flourished when I made time and made You the priority.”
- 4/3/13: “You keep leading me back to praise. You honor us as we honor You. Worthy is Your Name.”
I began to consider the varied praise processes that God has blessed me with enjoying:
- Emotional. As I dwell on the lyrics of a praise song, the response is an igniting of praise for the multifaceted character of the God who holds my world in His hand. That praise may be a spontaneous outburst that radiates through my soul, or a tearful acknowledgement of the greatness and worthiness of the God I’m privileged to serve.
- Relational. I look at others as they worship in church, and their physical response in honoring and blessing God with their lips and their posture draws me deeper into my own praise response to His goodness. Their worship spurs my worship!
- Contemplative and intensely personal. What may begin as thanksgiving segues into very specific praise for God’s dealings with me on many levels and my recognition of my unworthiness, which He counteracts through His grace and mercy.
It’s such a privilege to enter the “praise zone,” where we can take deep, cleansing breaths and oxygenate our spiritual lives. Spiritual power comes from the times of refreshing that genuine praise opens up. Change truly does occur as we praise! I’m a witness!
Do you create praise pauses in your day? What would need to change in order to incorporate more praise in your life?