We started a series about Change in October 2015. Still working on it. Then heard the theme in the powerful sermon last week. Mulled it over all week. Bill and I are reading through Galatians and we’re reminded about the Fruit of the Spirit (“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”Galatians 5:22-23). How am I going to finally master this? I know only the Lord can perform this miracle, so here’s my Fresh Start, from my morning devotional (link below it):
I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time – waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God – it changes me. – CS Lewis
All relationships require communication. As any friend, parent, spouse, son or daughter knows, communication does not always come easily. It takes intentionality. Vulnerability. Understanding. It takes practice.
Communicating with our heavenly Father through prayer is a blessing, a privilege, and a gift. But it also takes practice. Over the next 3 weeks, we will examine the power and practice of prayer together as a body of believers. We will identify five types of prayer – praise, confession, petition, intercession and kingdom advancement – and look closely at instruction and examples of each in Scripture. Then, we will discuss the Who/Where/When of prayer and challenge ourselves to put what we have learned into action.
Will you join us as we search God’s Word for His truth about prayer?
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16, ESV)
Day 1: Prayers of Praise
Text: Psalm 8
Do you wake up praying? Giving thanks and praising Him for who He is and what He’s done?
I admit, it’s not my first conscious action. Generally, I wake with a grumble at the sounding alarm, not a prayer (except maybe for it to stop). I drag myself from the warm covers, make a promise to myself that tonight I’ll take my makeup off before bed and stumble to the kitchen to start the coffee and pull open the blinds.
And at that moment, most mornings, I gasp.
The sky is perfectly painted in layers of icy blue, pale yellow and fiery pink leading to a burst of orange. The sunrise.
He’s gifted this intentional reminder of “glory in the heavens.” This evident, majestic work of His hands.
And despite my weariness, my to-do list, my need for coffee and obvious need for grooming, I forget myself completely. It all becomes about Him. In an instant, my gasp becomes a prayer—a prayer praising His greatness.
Psalm 8 is David’s gasp at God’s majesty, though it’s far more eloquent than my smeary mascara-eyed admiring.
Yet, this is what I long for my first prayer of every day to be – a prayer of praise:
For His perfect creation (Psalm 8:3, NIV), seen in a sunrise that a million painters could never come close to replicating.
For His unfathomable love for each and every one of us (v.4, NIV), despite our grumbles and sinful ways.
For the dominion over all His creation, given to us in the garden and restored in Christ (v. 5-8, NIV), the undeserved redemption we find in His son.
Nothing could be more praiseworthy.
These prayers are not expectant, not tinged with our own self-interest, or a laundry list of problems we want rectified. These are prayers of pure praise, thanksgiving and adoration that our Father receives so gratefully, like the crayon-scrawled thank you note we get from a child. He’ll take our gift and cherish it anytime, anywhere.
Let your first prayer today be one of praise. Forget yourself completely. Share with Him your gasp at His greatness, singing a prayerful song of praise:
“Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the Earth!” (v. 9)
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