“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Hebrews 13:15-16, NIV).
Praise is something we do either to acknowledge a person’s character or to positively highlight something he or she has done well. All through the pages of Scripture we find the people of God engaged in praise of God. In fact there are scores of texts in both Old and New Testaments that command us to praise the name of God. Praise is a sacrifice. It is something that we do to please God. It must cost us something to do it. Time. Effort. Money. In Hebrew worship, it was unthinkable to come to the temple of God without a material offering for sacrifice (see Deuteronomy 16:16-17). To worship was to sacrifice. Even the very poor would bring a grain offering; the marginal (those we would call the “working poor”) would bring a pair of turtledoves; and those who were doing well would bring a sheep or goat as an offering for sin (see Leviticus 5:5-13). The sacrifice of worship must include at least the giving up of the other things that we could and would do if we didn’t have a life of prayer.
Father, forgive my prayerless life. Draw me into Your Presence in fresh ways so that I desire to deepen my relationship with You more than any other activity I can engage in. Help me to turn loose of the things that keep me from knowing You more fully.
–Adapted from Power Praying (Hearing Jesus’ Spirit by Praying Jesus’ Prayer) by David Chotka. This resource is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.
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Praise God that he is your stronghold in time of trouble (Ps. 9:9). Give thanks for God’s promise that when you call on him in the day of trouble, he will deliver you (Ps. 50:15). Confess your failure to glorify and honor God when he does give you deliverance. Commit yourself to keeping the vows you make when you are in trouble (Ps. 66:13-16). Ask God to bring you to your knees in every situation, not just when special trouble surrounds you (Psalm 116).
Pray that all Christians will see God’s hand in trouble and trials knowing that “God . . . will pay back trouble to those who trouble you” (2 Thess. 1:6).