Tuesday, March 13, 2012
I Will Praise You
“Praise the LORD, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD.” Psalm 117:1-2 (NIV)
My husband and I have the privilege of attending a small group meeting each Sunday night. This group of 18 people has become very special to us and reminds me so much of the “cottage prayer meetings” we had when I was a child.
For those who might not be familiar with what I am referring to, a small group is comprised of individuals who meet together in a home rather than a church. All over the city, we have these little pockets of meetings going on each Sunday night. Our leaders, Bob and Katy are godly people, strong prayer warriors, and wonderful Bible teachers—plus a lot of fun! By meeting in Bob and Katy’s home, we are able to form a more intimate bond of fellowship with one another. Our small group has Bible study and discussion, as well as a time for specific prayers. Sometimes we sing some of the old songs that we sang as children or some of the newer choruses. Whichever we choose, the songs are always meaningful and very worshipful. At present all members of our group attend the same church. Our focus is to become more Christ-like by studying God’s Word, apply it to our lives, pray for our church, our loved ones and friends, as well as to reach those within our zip code and beyond with the message of Jesus Christ.
Recently, at one of our meetings before our time of prayer, Bob asked us to do something a little differently than we had been doing. He asked that we go to God in prayer and not ask for anything. Our focus was to be only on God, His attributes and His Sovereignty. We were to praise Him and thank Him for who He is and what He has done for us. We could quote a favorite scripture which reinforced God’s Sovereignty, His power, His love for us or our love for Him. Coming to God with our minds focused on Him and not ourselves gave us an attitude of thankfulness and humbleness. Truly, this method of prayer ushered us into a wonderful time of fellowship with our Lord. No one asked for anything. And it was wonderful.
At one time or another, I am pretty sure that we have all been guilty of going before the Father in such desperation for His help with our own needs, that we fail to take the time to focus only on Him. We exist for His glory alone and to share our faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. I am certain that this type of sweet fellowship before His throne pleases Him. When we recognize Him as the great I AM and ALMIGHTY GOD, we realize how much we need Him and depend on Him, which in turn makes us that much more humble and thankful for all that He has done, is doing, and will continue to do for us. We are His “dear ones” and His love for us is everlasting.
You are not going escape one of my favorite songs today!! The song entitled, “I Will Praise You,” by The Collingsworth Family says it all. I do praise Him for lifting my sights to heavenly things and I pray that each of you can say the same.
PRAYER: Father, God. Thank you for allowing me this time today to sit and think on You--to thank You for being such a wonderful heavenly Father. You are my one desire and I ask that it be the same for each person reading this. Thank You for sending Jesus to die for my sins and the sins of the world. Without Your great love in this manner, we would all be lost. Save those who are lost and make them mighty men and women after Your own heart. Help them to humble themselves before You and seek Your face. I pray in Jesus name. Amen.