Wednesday, August 1, 2012

21 Days of Praise: The Book

 I believe in the power of community and accountability. Last year on At the Well, I invited you to a challenge of 21 Days of Praise. I thought why not invite the members of At the Well and the At the Well Facebook group to “praise” journal with me so to speak and encourage each other in developing the discipline of praise. I sent out the invitation.
 “I invite you to join me on At the Well to enter into His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise (Psalm 100:4).”
For 21 days, I invited the members of the group to post their praise and thanks on At the Well (online or Facebook). I broke the “challenge” into three parts. For the first seven days, I asked people to list three praise items. For example: I praise God for His (fill in the blank) and I thank Him for (fill in the blank). The next seven days list seven things and the last seven days see if you can list 12 things. I chose three, seven and twelve because they were very “biblical” numbers in my mind and I figured it would make it more interesting to start with a small number and work our way up. Part of the challenge was not to repeat but to go from general to specific. For example, a person may thank God for their health. Later the person may thank God for the ability to walk or see.

I posted my first three praises:

1.      I praise God for salvation.

2.      I thank Him for my husband.

3.      I thank Him for my children.

I thought that posting praises and not repeating would be a challenge. The challenge ended up limiting the praise to a certain number. Once I got started it was hard to stop. And then a funny thing happened on Facebook (see A Funny Thing Happened on Facebook). God created a community. More and more people started posting their praise and the praises turned into prayers. People started praying for one another and connecting to each other and forming a community. God created a family. God created a safe place where folks could be transparent-- a place where we became the Church-- the body of Christ. God brought people who have never seen each other together to pray for one another. God brought together brothers and sisters who are related by the blood of Jesus and their faith in God and his son Jesus Christ to share each other’s burdens, celebrate one another’s triumphs, encourage one another with our testimonies and pray. On the At the Well Facebook community we have witnessed miracles and testimonies of God’s goodness, greatness and love and it all started with our praise-- with acknowledging and appreciating God. 
I'm inviting you to join me again in 21 Days of Praise. I have been encouraged to turn 21 Days of Praise into a book and I am inviting you into the process as I seek to transfer what happened on At the Well into a book. For the next 21 days I will be posting excerpts from the book (a work in progress). I am inviting you to join with me again in posting your praise. And I look forward to your feedback.
 I have organized the book into three sections. The first seven days focus on God, the Father. In the second week we focus on Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and the last seven days we turn our attention to God, the Holy Spirit. Every day we look at a different aspect of God. This is not a strict study but just a starting point. At the end of day there is a question for reflection and a place to list your praise. There is no limit to the praise you can list or how you write it. The only challenge is don’t repeat. Go from general to specific, but try to think of something new every day because God’s mercies are new every day. As the old song say, if we had a thousand tongues, we still couldn’t praise God enough. As I have found, when you start to think of God’s goodness, the challenge will be limiting your praise.



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