EXPLORATION: "Praying the Praise Prayer - I Sing"
"The soul of one who loves God always swims in joy, always keeps holiday, and is always in a mood for singing."
John of the Cross
When was the last time I sang for joy because of the hope I have in the Lord?
"When your heart is full of Christ, you want to sing."
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
INSPIRATION: "S" - I sing a song of hope in Your power.
My dad had a beautiful tenor voice. As kids we always knew when he arrived home from work because you'd either hear his happy whistle or the melodious tune of a song he'd be humming. Music has always been a central core of our family. My mother and I play the piano and my dad and sister had beautiful "singing" voices. My sister is still part of a praise group at her church and how I love to hear her sing.
Recently, when I was asked to do a one-day mini-retreat for women, I asked my sister to come and lead out in the musical praise portion of the program. I can't begin to tell you what it sounded like having nearly 100 of God's daughters raising their voices together to glorify their Heavenly Father. It brought chills to me it was so impressive.
I believe if we could have our earthly eyes opened to heavenly sights we would see only joy in God's courts when His children on earth lift their voices in song to Him.
Not long ago, I found a beautiful expression of praise written by one of God's children in Ghana.
"Lord, my joys mount as do the birds, heavenward.
the night has taken wings
and I rejoice in the light.
What a day, Lord! What a day!
Your sun has burned away the
dew from the grass and from our hearts.
What erupts from us,
what encircles us this morning,
Lord, your sun is balmy,
it caresses the grass and the
cassava out of the clay,
tops it with flowers,
draws out the mahogany,
throws birds into the sky,
and out of us it drums
a song of praise to you!"
I wonder what it would be like if all God's children around the world awoke every morning singing a song of praise. We can when we choose to make the "Praise Prayer" an integral part of our day.
The fifth line of this prayer is, "I sing a song of hope in Your power."
The Psalmist David, who understood the power of praise, tells us what he did each morning: "My voice shalt Thou hear in the morning, O Lord: in the morning will I direct my prayer unto Thee, and will look up" (Psalms 5: 3, K.J.V.).
I happen to be well acquainted with this text because at family worship when I was about 12-years-old, my father read this text to us. And he also introduced our family to a hymn he wanted us to sing every morning when worship was over. The song is called, "Lord In The Morning," and here are the words:
"Lord, in the morning Thou shalt hear
my voice ascending high;
to Thee will I direct my prayer,
to Thee lift up mine eye.
O may Thy Spirit guide my
feet in ways of righteousness!
Make every path of duty straight
and plain before my face.
The men that love and fear Thy name
shall see their hopes fulfilled;
the mighty God will compass them
with favour as a shield."
Even to this day, my sister and I can still sing this short song by memory. And recently, when visiting a church out of town, and they began to sing this song, I realized that as a young girl, this song was our family's praise prayer. I just thought we were singing to appease my dad, when in fact we were singing to bring glory to our Father and to plant the seeds of praise in our young hearts.
Many years ago, my husband Jim and I were able to attend a concert in Pasadena, California by the world renowned opera singer Kathleen Battle. For nearly 2 hours she sang accompanied only by a piano.
At the end of the concert, the audience rose for at least 6 standing ovations. Finally, with great persuasion, Ms. Battle walked back on to the stage alone and began to sing acappella "He's Got The Whole World In His Hands." Even today I can remember how everyone in the concert hall felt. There wasn't one sound. And when she hit the final note and the sound stopped, there was a literal "gasp" that ran through the crowd. When Ms. Battle finished, I really believed God had the whole world in His hands.
Now you may be thinking, "But Dorothy, I don't sing like an opera star." Well guess what - neither do I. In fact, my voice leaves a great deal to be desired. But when I mingle my song of praise with the voices of God's other daughters and sons on this earth, along with the angel choir of heaven, by the time my voice reaches my heavenly Father's ear, it brings a smile to His face and untold joy to His heart.
"S" - I sing a song of hope in Your power.
"Lord with glowing heart I'd praise Thee
For the bliss Thy love bestows,
For the pardoning grace that saves me,
And the peace that from it flows."
Francis Scott Key
AFFIRMATION: Song of Praise
"I've been looking for a suitable word
to praise you, Lord. Something enthusiastic
but not too formal, the sort of happy shout
a child gives to its mother.
I've tried Hallelujahs, Glorias and Hosannas,
but really, what I'd like is a word
from my own language, a word that is me.
If I were a bellbird, I'd fill my throat
with ecstatic song. Or, as a lamb,
I could fling myself into spring dance.
As a mountain stream I would spill out
inarticulate babblings of joy.
And if I were the sea, my waves would explode
in a thunder of love for you
Lord, you overwhelm me with your great goodness
praise should not be difficult and yet
I can't find the exact word. Perhaps
it doesn't exist, though if it does,
I'm sure that it sounds like ‘Yippee!'"
In Aotearoa Psalms
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
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