My Lenten Bible Study has come to an end. :( It was So good. The purpose of it was to get deeper into prayer during Lent. As we ended, our leader handed us new journals for 50 Days of Praise. It's all about praising the Lord from Easter until Pentecost. (Which, by the way, is when the people received the Holy Spirit - Acts 2 - Thanks Mom! I knew you'd know :))
I hope you'll all join me in these 50 days of praise! I'd love to hear how it goes for you and if you grow/learn..etc. Each day will be a verse. You are then free to worship however you choose. Share share share!
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The word praise comes from the Hebrew word, halal, which means "to praise, to thank; rejoice, boast about someone." Halal is the root from which "hallelujah" is formed. It usually conveys the idea of speaking or singing about the glories, virtues, or honor of someone.
Adoration is praising God for who He is; thanksgiving is praising Him for what He does. These two will overlap and complement each other as we walk with God and He reveals more of Himself through His merciful acts of kindness in our lives. God created us to praise and worship Him. In praise, our souls are lifted heavenward and we become more God focused than self focused. As we praise our glorious Creator, our hearts are lifted from the valleys of life to the peaks of eternity.
Scripture instructs us in Psalm 100:4 to
"Enter His gates with Thanksgiving and into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him and bless His name."
Praise can be a spontaneous, exuberant emotion or a valiant effort of our will when we are in pain. Many times our circumstances will not be conducive to praise, but we are to offer praise unto God because He is worthy and we need His joy and presence to infuse us. Praise will bring the presence of God! Praise is the greatest antidote God has given us for the trials and dry times in our lives.
Daily, we should find fresh and new ways to praise God. King David gave us many of the Psalms because he had such a heart of praise. In fact, the Bible tells us that "he was a man after God's own heart" (1 Samuel 13:14). His words in Psalm 71:6,14 should be our daily charge, "My praise shall be continually of You...And I will praise You yet more and more." David is an example to us of someone praiseing God in times of joy as well as in times of deep pain and heartache. God is worthy of our praise all the time. As someone once noted, "faith can be born in a cry."
Paul and Silas are also wonderful examples to us from Scripture of men who praised God even when they were beaten, ridiculed and imprisoned. Their faith in God and His greatness was not shaken when they encountered difficulties and severe trials. Through the power of their praise, Paul and Silas were delivered from the Philippian prison and brought salvation to the jail keeper and his family (Acts 16:25-34).
May you discover the joy and power in praise as you begin these 50 days of praise. I pray that the Spirit will lead you on a path of praise and worship which will welcome the King of Kings into your daily life, families, churches, communities and the world.
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I hope you all enjoyed reading this! Tomorrow, I'll share another section from Elizabeth called "Begin to Live a Life of Praise". Basically, it's all about HOW to praise!