“He is your praise; he is your God,
who performed for you those great and awesome wonders
you saw with your own eyes”
Any child can show us that asking is the most natural of prayers. They also often show us how saying “Thank You’ has to be learned and become a habit. It is the same in our relationship with the Lord.
Prayers of Thanks and Praise are vital in our lives for three reasons. One is because God is worthy of the acknowledgement and honour. Another is that they make us recall what He has done and is doing in our lives. The third is to bring to mind the great promises that He has given us as his people.
We are surrounded with the gifts of God. The awesome wonder and beauty of creation and all that it gives us. The marvel of modern technology, medicine and scientific research. The gift and talents that are a part of each individual. Music, art, literature and sport.
There is the wonder of God’s love, His forgiveness and redemption, and the awesome and terrible sacrifice of Jesus Christ with the breath-taking reality of His resurrection and ascension. In addition there is the life-changing and enhancing gift of the Holy Spirit as our guarantee of the life to come.
Add to these the wonder of a sunrise and sunset, the early morning song of the garden birds, the haunting cry of a distant fish-eagle in the mist, the laughter of a child, the love of a dear one, and the companionship of friends. And what about the deafening authority of a black-clouded thunderstorm with arrows of spine-chilling light flashing through the heavens to both reveal and then blind us to the surrounding view.
These are only a few examples, but is it any wonder that the scriptures, and in particular the psalms, are packed with thanksgiving to God for all that He has done and provided – and with praise to the honour of this God who has done it all out of His great love. Time and again they exhort us to follow the example of the psalmist,
- “Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever” (Psalm 106:1)
- “I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders” (Psalm 9:1)
- “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name” (Psalm 100:4)
Try and weave thanksgiving and praise into your day as you travel through it. When something strikes you tell God how much you like it and how wonderful He is for what He has done – and allowed you to notice, appreciate and enjoy. Sometimes when I wake during the early hours I allow my mind to go back over some of the people I have known throughout my life – and I thank God for them and the blessing they have been. I also pray for them wherever and however they may be.
Take time to notice, to appreciate and to be grateful – there is so much.
Lord please open my eyes to the countless blessings that have been, are and will be a part of my life. Thank You for Your generosity and the abundance of Your love. You are so wonderful, so loving and so aware of what will bless me and I am very, very grateful to You. Amen.