Pleasing praises

Not long ago, a group of young women gathered to worship. It was beautiful to watch. Some sang with eyes closed, whispering praises to an intimate Savior. Others raised their hands in sweet surrender. One teen kneeled and cried happy tears of new beginnings. Really, really beautiful.

As I worshipped alongside these girls, a question crossed my mind: “Lord, are you pleased? We are here, lifting your name high. We aren’t concerned with how we look or where we’re going. Right now, in this very moment, it’s all about you. Dear Lord, are you pleased?”

According to scripture, the answer is “yes.” When sincere hearts are full of praise, it’s a good thing! I love this passage about a grateful believer honoring God:

“I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. Let my meditation be pleasing to Him; as for me, I shall be glad in the Lord” (Psalm 104:33-34).

Do you want to “be glad in the Lord”? I know I do! For me, it boils down to giving God the spotlight—all of it. Sure, there’s a time and place for telling Him our troubles. That’s His specialty, healing the brokenhearted. Giving strength. Offering hope. That’s the Jesus I know (And hopefully you do, too).

But sometimes—pretty often, actually—God wants us to throw down those burdens and do one thing: Gush about His greatness. What does this look like? Well, maybe it’s a song just for Him, sung a little off key in the shower. 🙂 Or a love letter from the book He inspired, spoken back to Him with reverence (like Psalm 145, for example). Sometimes I address God with a few of His Biblical names during worship:

1) Adonai—Lord, the one to whom I’m devoted.

2) Abba—Father, one who loves me as His own child.

3) El Shaddai—Almighty, one who has power.

(If you’d like to pump up your praise with even more names for God, then check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5-6gwssX0Y).

Each week, college ladies meet at my home for Bible study. One night we ended the session with small-group prayer. “Spend some time bragging on God’s character,” I suggested. “Tell Him about the traits that awe you.” And so they did. All over the house girls gathered in clumps, worshipping their Lord. (Let me say that a sweet aroma of praise lingered in the kitchen, breakfast nook, and living room for days—no better scent in the world!)

As everyone said their “amens” and trickled out the door, one young woman pulled me aside. “I’ve never done that before,” she told me with a smile. “Usually I pray because I need something. But tonight, when my friends spoke about God’s love and power, something clicked. If I just concentrate on who He is, my problems get a whole lot smaller.”

Yes! That’s what amazes me about praising God: No matter how much I’m determined to give Him all the attention, somehow He reflects sweetness back on me! My troubles fade in the brightness of His glory. My hopes rise. My spirit soars. God, you are so good to your grateful children!

How about you? Are your lips due for some worshipful words? Do you need a little reminder about your big ole God? If so, then simply start singing. Or thinking about the One you serve. Or praying with a praise-filled heart. It’s what the Father wants. And it’s exactly what His daughter needs.

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).

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