Prayer that Opens Doors 1: Praise
I recently had the privilege of leading a prayer seminar with my husband at his home church. One of my sessions was on “Prayer that Opens Doors.” This is the first of three posts on the prayer that does just that. The second will be on Thanks and the third on Blessing.
The key was in the lock box. I had the code. But my normal inability to decipher how things work prevailed. My husband quickly figured it out. But the lock on the door seemed obstinate, and it took several tries to actually unlock the door to the lovely mountain cabin we were staying in for a week.
Too often, that’s how it is with events and relationships and opportunities in our lives: Unlocking them is challenging.
I have found, however, that prayer can be the key to unlock those seemingly stuck doors. In particular, three prayers provide the access. Each one can do the job, but together they open the most stubborn situation.
PRAISE AT ALL TIMES
We most often think of praise as part of praise and worship music and singing at church—which is wonderful and uplifting and freeing.
But praise as a way of life is life changing.
I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the Lord….Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. (Psalm 34:1-3) Notice the “all” and “always” in this verse. Seriously? I am to praise the Lord all the time? How is that possible?
But You are holy, O You who inhabits the praises of Israel. (Psalm 22:3)
God inhabits—lives in—our praises.Our minds have far greater capacity than our immediate thinking/conversing/acting. We always have thoughts about other things even as we chat with someone or work on a project. In that reserve space we can engage God in all we are and do by praising Him—by acknowledging who He is and what He is like.
CALL HIM BY NAME
Praise is basically lifting up the name of God. I often praise Him by naming His names. Whatever my need, He has a name for Himself:
He is Jehovah Jireh—the provider. And Jehovah Raphe—the healer. And Jehovah Shalom—peace. He is Love, and certainly I need that. Gratefully He is full of mercy—something I require often. He is Jehovah Roi--the God who sees everything--and El Shaddai--the mighty one in every circumstance.
And so many more. One way I can be praising Him always is to lift up who He is and what He is like by speaking His names.
I find when I remember to praise Him, my focus changes. Instead of dwelling on my worries, concerns, fears or troubles, my mind and my heart instead remember what an amazing God and Savior and Redeemer and Friend He is. And His presence in those remembrances gives me peace and hope.
Praise not only puts us in the very presence of God and lifts our eyes from our problems to His ability to solve those problems, but it also gives us plenty of practice for Heaven. There, as we go about the real life God has for us there, we will truly be praising Him all the time.
What about you? How do you praise Him “at all times”?
C2015 Judy Douglass
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