EXPLORATION: "Praying the Praise Prayer"
How can I incorporate "Praise" into my daily routine?
INSPIRATION: It seems the word "habit" has gotten a bad name. A "habit" is often referred to in a negative way, associated with some form of debauchery, such as a "drug habit." Or a "habit" can be viewed as something that drives us into boring, repetitious behavior. We perform a certain activity "out of habit." Our behavior becomes rote - something we do without even thinking.
Quite frankly, the idea of praying the "Praise Prayer" out of habit concerned me from the very beginning. I didn't want my prayers to be perfunctory.
When I started to pray this special prayer each day, I worried I might lose interest after a while, as can easily happen when our devotional life intersects with our daily living. But, I was also concerned that like so many other prayers or texts I had memorized through the years, the "Praise Prayer" might soon become nothing more than a practice I carried out on a daily basis with a sense of predictability.
It's been fourteen years since I made the "Praise Prayer" part of my daily schedule. And something unusual has happened in the subsequent years. Not only have I continued to value the time I take to include this prayer in my morning devotions, but I have also found this prayer has, in ways which are difficult to put into words, set the tone for my day. If I get too busy and forget to pray, my day seems off-track. Something is missing. Things aren't right. Once I realize what the problem is and remedy the situation by stopping and taking time to inject the praise of God into my day, it's as though I'm re-energized. Everything begins to hum along in harmony again.
Don't get me wrong! All my problems haven't faded away. Since our car accident, no day has been predictable. There are days the pain I face is so great, walking becomes unbearable, and yet, I have never found myself totally overwhelmed. In the words of Julian of Norwich, "God said not, ‘Thou shalt not be travailed. Thou shalt not be afflicted.' But He said: ‘Thou shalt not be overcome.'"
This is a truth I have found as I've incorporated the "Praise Prayer" into each day. The Psalmist David encourages us to "Delight yourself in the Lord" (Psalm 37: 4). And the Apostle Paul, writing in Philippians 4: 4, gives this instruction: "Rejoice in the Lord alway: delight, gladden yourselves in Him: again I say, Rejoice!" This is the experience I have had as the "Praise Prayer" has become a vital part of my day. It is easier to "rejoice always," for when I'm praising God, I have the confidence that everything I face each day, has been sifted through the loving hands of my heavenly Father who wants only what's for my eternal blessing. This means that even when the unthinkable happens, and your life is turned upside down, you and I can still "praise the Lord at all times."
As you begin to include the "Praise Prayer" in your life, may you find that in the words of the prophet Isaiah, you have clothed yourself every day in a heavenly "garment of praise" (Isaiah 61:3, K.J.V.).
AFFIRMATION: "If anyone would tell you the shortest,
surest way to all happiness…must he
tell you to make it a rule to yourself
to thank and praise God for everything
that happens to you. For it is certain
that whatever seeming calamity happens
to you, if you thank and praise God for
it, you turn it into a blessing." William Law
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.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.