|Church mothers praise God during service at the|
Regina Mundi Church in South Africa.
Photo by John W. Fountain
Last month I embarked on a challenge. My brother, Rev. K. Edward Copeland, the pastor of New Zion Baptist Church in Rockford, Illinois sent out an invitation on Facebook to join his church as they study "The Power to Prosper: 21-Days to Financial Freedom". He challenged his congregation to a 21-day fast from credit cards. It prompted an idea for me. How about 21 days of giving God something? 21 Days of Praise.
I had read a book about gratitude and on the local Christian radio station once I heard an author talk about how she had a goal of writing 1,000 things for which she was grateful. I thought it was a great idea and I had started to write my own gratitude list in my daily devotions, but as time went on I was inconsistent. I’ve heard it takes 21 days to form a habit. Why not challenge myself and invite others to join me in listing our praises for 21 days?
Part of the challenge was to think of something new every day and not repeat. I thought it might be a challenge. But the challenge ended up stopping the flow of praise to just a few. As I started to post praises at the At the Well Facebook group and others joined in with their praise, I found myself finding more and more to praise God for and along the way God made manifest what happens when we praise and why praise is so important.
When we praise we get the proper perspective of who God is.
Praise is recognizing, appreciating and expressing God’s greatness. Perspective is defined as a view or vista; a mental view or outlook. It comes from the Latin word perspicere which means to look through or see clearly.
When we praise God, we see more clearly. We see who God is and we see ourselves and our situations in the proper perspective. The things that seemed so large in our human perception seem microscopically small when compared to the greatness of God.
When we praise God we start to really see who He is. Although our finite human minds cannot conceive or perceive all of his greatness, when we start to enumerate who He is, we start to see different aspects of his holiness, omnipotence, awesomeness, love and grace.
When we start seeing how big and great God is, everything else is small in comparison and we have a proper perspective on our problems, our position and our purpose.
Praising God jogs our memory and increases our ability to trust in the one who has brought us through before. We remember how God has kept us, comforted us and provided for us. The more we say what He has done the more we appreciate who He is and have confidence in what He can do.
We recognize that He is the Creator, the Maker of heaven and earth. The God we serve and praise is the almighty One who spoke and brought the universe into existence. This great God is our God. He is a personal God. Our father, Abba, Daddy God who loves me and knows me so well that he has counted the number of hairs on my head and sees my thoughts afar off. He knew me before I was me and He knit me together in my mother’s womb.
The same God who determined the number of the stars heals the brokenhearted. The same God who created the vastness of the cosmos and galaxies also created the subatomic particle of the atom. The same God who made the intricacies of my DNA is the same God who makes the rain fall, the grass grow and the seasons change. The same God made the sun and made it so that plants on earth take that light and turn into food through the miracle of photosynthesis.
And that same God who made the sun, gave His only begotten Son who was there with Him when the foundations of the earth were established. And that Son set aside His divinity, wrapped himself in humanity and shed his blood for our iniquity. What a mighty God we serve and He is worthy to be praised.
Praising God puts things in perspective.
Next: What Happens When We Praise? Purpose and Power