7 comments on “Days of Praise

  1. Pingback: Days of Praise — The Life Project | franciscansonthemountains

  2. Very well said, Don. Proverbs 3:6 tells us to acknowledge Him in all our ways. Here you have summarized the key to doing this. Worship should always be a part of our daily devotions.

  3. Once upon a time (in an earlier life), I was (for about three weeks) appointed the Director of Education for the church I served on staff. (Why? Because our DoE quit without notice.) I suddenly found myself “covering” (substitute teaching) a second grade Sunday School class, and the topic for the session was “Praise”.

    I had no clue at the time, of what to do or how to handle that. So… I punted.

    I started with the question… “OK, kids. How do we ‘praise God’?” (I mean, you can’t go wrong with so basic a question, can you?)

    Hands shot up… “We close our eyes and say ‘amen’ when grownups pray!”…
    Next: “We dress up fancy for church…”
    Next: “We stay real still and quiet when the man talks in front…”
    Next: “We put money in the bowl when it goes by…”
    Next: “By coming to church even when we don’t want to…”

    And then, it all dried up. With each response, my heart sank a little more. Do you see anything joyful or praise-oriented here?

    So, I tried a different question. “Kids? What does ‘praise’ mean?”

    Fewer hands… but a few brave souls… “Shouting ‘Amen’ or ‘Hallelujah’ when other people start!”

    And I assured the class that yes, indeed these were all ways that we showed our love and respect for God… all ways to ‘praise God’… yes.

    Then I “defined praise” for them as… “You can think of ‘praising’ as ‘saying something good for or about someone’. Other than God, who do you, personally ever ‘praise’?”

    Confused looks all ’round.

    “Well, when’s the last time you said or thought anything good… to or about someone?”

    Slowly, tentatively, hands began to go up. It started with sports heroes. Then grandparents, uncles, aunts. Then friends or teachers, and even close family. What was the ‘good thing’ they talked about? Great performance, gifts given and received, friendly moments… the most interesting was the boy who praised his brother for not beating him up this week (so far).

    I said, “OK, now that we’re in the groove… How else might we ‘praise God’ beyond all those things, those practices, good as they are… that we started with. Think of it this way, when we praise someone, we’re usually saying… ‘Wow, that’s cool!’ or ‘That’s great!’ about something they are or something they’ve done, that we notice. So, think of God for a minute… What’s ‘cool’ or ‘great’ about Him that you’ve noticed, say in the past week?”

    This took a little time, and adjustment, but slowly… tentatively… hands started to go up.

    “Well, I have a brand new baby brother, and that’s pretty cool! God did that!”
    “I went out on a boat and saw dolphins… Dolphins are cool… and God made them!”

    Others started chiming in excitedly, hands flew, kids started talking over one another, and the one I remember best was…

    “We’re ALIVE! And that’s ’cause God ‘lives’ us! Now THAT’s cool!”

    And indeed, it is, and it was, and I, too, experienced ‘joyful praising’ in that moment.

    How far had we come from, ‘we close our eyes and bow our heads when grownups pray…” to baby brothers, dolphins, and life itself?

    And how easy is it for us to forget?

    Grace to you — LM

    • Maybe we should praise God for the wonders of a second graders! 🙂

      By the way, have you ever notice that when we speak of giving praise to God, we usually do so in the future tense? I always find myself wondering when we’re going to get around to it.

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