First Verse, a journey through the Psalms: Psalm 48

How great is the Lord, how deserving of praise,
in the city of our God, which sits on his holy mountain!
(Psalm 48:1, NLT)

If ever we wonder about the importance of praise, we need look no further than the Psalms. While these beautiful poems run the gamut of human emotion, they always come back to praise. So, this week, we look at yet another call to give praise to the Lord. Always appropriate on any day, I find praise even more so as we celebrate the holiday season.

For some, this constant praise to God may seem a bit over the top. I mean, is God so egocentric that He needs or requires our praise? Definitely not. As I get to know my Heavenly Father more and more, I realize that, as a perfect father, everything He does, He does for our good and benefit.

We praise a lot of things in life, some deserving, some not so deserving. We praise sports teams, and singers/musicians, movie stars, leaders and our children. We praise the look of new cars, the awesomeness of the latest phone, or the newest gadget. We praise careers and positions that come with power, prestige and money. We praise beautiful homes and memorable vacations.

All of these things, however, have one thing in common.  They are temporary. They pass away, withering like flowers, fading like grass. They do not last.  They may be good in their own right (or maybe not), but they will soon turn into yesterday’s news, become a memory, tossed in the junk drawer, or the junk yard.  Or they may disappear because the economy took a downward turn, or the pink slip came, because time crept in, or someone let us down. When the disappointment comes (and it will), where can we turn?

To the One Who is deserving of praise.

Since our Heavenly Father knows we need something reliable in our lives, a sure foundation, something trustworthy, dependable, unfailing. He gives us Himself. He is all of these and so much more.

One of the things I love about my time praying with Moms in Prayer is that we start out each prayer time with praise. We select an attribute or a characteristic of God, we read Scriptures that focus on the attribute or characteristic, and we spend time praising God for Who He is. When we start in the position of looking up and seeing how awesome He is, then as we bring our needs to Him, we are confident there is nothing He cannot do. No problem too big, no person too lost, no situation to difficult.  Because we’ve already established in our minds and hearts the truth that He is bigger.

Sometimes, when I’m walking by myself, I practice the Alphabet Prayer. I start with the letter A and work through the alphabet, all the way to Z, acknowledging an attribute or characteristic of God for each letter.  I never run out of words.

Our God, He is
Amazing, Beautiful, Compassionate, Defender, Everlasting, Faithful
Generous, Helper, Immutable, Just, Kind, Love, Mighty
Noble, Omniscient, Patient, Quick, Redeemer, Sovereign,
Trustworthy, Undeniable, Victorious, Wise ,eXciting, Yes, Zealous

Give it a try.
You will find your focus on the One Who is certain in a very uncertain world.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, You are deserving of praise, far above anything this world has to offer. Help me set my priorities properly and praise You for Who You are.

Grace & Peace

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About Jill English Johnston

God writes His story on every heart, if we only pause to read it. My heart has lived in a fantasy world since early childhood and am delighted that God has finally brought me to the place where I can bring the fantasies to life through story. I am currently working on a fantasy trilogy (of course) but I also post thoughts, reflections and (hopefully) inspiration to my website: tabletsofhumanhearts.wordpress.com I am a follower of the Rabbi Jesus, married to my best friend and inspiration, and the mother of three incredible children, one daughter and two sons, with one son-in-love. When not writing, I passionately pursue prayer, reading (never enough time to read them all!), and the outdoors. My husband and I both served in the US Navy and have lived/travelled through many states and all over Asia. We both still enjoy travelling, but we really love our home in Schertz, located at the crossroads of Texas, just northeast of San Antonio.
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