Wednesday, April 9, 2008

All Praise to the Lord

Praying for help with our problems has its place. Thanking God for His answers to prayer (and His other blessings) is essential. But few of us give adequate attention to what should take up the largest share of our prayer time: pure adoration, praising God for all that He is.

The trouble with focusing on the asking part of prayer is that it keeps our focus on our concerns and on what we want--frequently to the point that our problems and desires start to look bigger than God. Like the student who gets 99% on the toughest test of the year and sinks into misery over not making 100, we effectively call the trivial vital and the vital trivial.

The best cure? For every request you make of God, find four things to praise Him for! Try a few of the following for starters.

All praise to the Lord, the Maker of all--
The stars and the stones; the great and the small;
The seas and the lakes; the clays and the sand;
The sun and the moon; the air and the land.

All praise to the Lord, the Gardener of earth,
Who makes all things grow, Who gives the seeds birth.
The trees and the flowers, the mushrooms and reeds,
Spring forth by His power; He meets all their needs.

All praise to the Lord, the Giver of breath,
The Ruler of life, the Master of death:
The birds and the beasts, the insects, the fish,
The frogs and the mites--all live by His wish.

All praise to the Lord, the Father of men,
Who gave Adam life, and all after him.
Each baby who comes to breathe on this earth
Is sent in God's love, and blessed at its birth.

All praise to the Lord, Who makes all things new,
Who seeks wandering souls, Who paid our sins' due.
The day soon shall come, when all who trust Him
Shall sing a new world's eternal Amen!

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