“You are my God, and I will praise you! You are my God, and I will exalt you!” – Psalm 118:28, NLT
On Thursday mornings, I lead a group at my daughters’ school called Moms in Prayer. A group of dedicated mothers and grandmothers meet to intercede for our teachers, administration, staff, and, of course, our children. Each week, we begin our 45-minute prayer time with praise. Then, we spend a few moments in silent confession, followed by thanksgiving and intercession.
Praise is one of the most important components of prayer, but, unfortunately, it’s probably the most neglected. Many people think they are praising God when they’re actually giving thanks to Him. Although both are necessary in the life of a believer, they are not the same. Praise is acknowledging God for who He is, while thanksgiving is offering words of gratitude for what He has done.
Think of how good it feels when someone gives you a compliment. That’s exactly what you’re doing when you praise the Lord! You tell God how great He is!
One way I like to praise God is by going through the ABCs. I speak out God’s attributes, character, or name for each letter of the alphabet. It goes something like this:
A- awesome, amazing, the Alpha and Omega
B – beautiful, the Bread of Life
C – compassionate, the God of all comfort, caring
D – my Deliverer
E – eternal, excellent in all your ways
F – faithful, Father, friend, forgiving
(all the way to “Z”)
When you pray, be sure to begin with praise. Resist the temptation to rush right to your requests. Instead, worship the Lord, and exalt His holy name!
Make the commitment of Psalm 145:2 (NLT): “I will praise you every day; yes, I will praise you forever.” Give my ABC idea a try, and see what you think.