Praise · The Journey

The Journey Readings: Week 74… and… lessons on praise…

The heart of praise in the Psalms caught my attention this week… and I began to look for lessons on praise…

Sing to the Lord a new song,
for He has done marvelous things…
Psalm 98:1 Amp

Our praise should be fresh… our hearts continually filled with new songs of praise for the marvelous things He is doing in our lives… here and now…

Let them confess and praise Your great name,
awesome and reverence inspiring!
It is holy, and holy is He!
Psalm 99:3 Amp
The exercise of praise stirs up the fear of the Lord in our hearts… promotes a proper attitude for the basis of our relationship with Him…
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Psalm 100:1-2 Amp
Praising Him on the regular… leads to glad… joyful… acts of service…
I will sing of mercy and loving-kindness and justice;
to You, O Lord, will I sing. I will behave myself wisely
and give heed to the blameless way — O when will You come to me?
I will walk within my house in integrity and with a blameless heart.
I will set no base or wicked things before my eyes.
Psalm 101:1-3 Amp
Praise inspires us to live with integrity before Him… longing for His presence in our life…
Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul;
and all that is [deepest] within me, bless His holy name!
Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not [one of] all His benefits—
Psalm 103:1 Amp
Sometimes… a stirring up of one’s own soul… is required to praise God… and remember all His benefits…
These are lessons from psalmists of old… from His Word… words I began to write before I received a praise lesson… live and in person…
Currently retreating… away on vacation… 
I felt led to attend a nearby church…
His still small voice making the suggestion since we arrived…
This is not my usual way… to visit a church while on vacation…
it would have been an easy call to ignore… but I’m so grateful I didn’t…
What I saw… experienced… was Spirit-led worship…
The pastor began with a review of the Word from last week… 
a battle prayer… and God’s answer to the people…
“…O our God, will you not execute judgment on them?
For we are powerless against this great horde 
that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, 
but our eyes are on you.”
Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed
at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s. …'”
2 Chronicles 20:12, 15 ESV
The point of review… God’s people entering battle with praise…
And they rose early in the morning and went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. And when they went out, Johoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed.” And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the Lord and praise him in holy attire, as they went before the army, and say, “Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
1 Chronicles 20:20-21 ESV
Then the pastor said… We are doing something different this morning… I’m not sure what it will look like… 
And we moved into an extended time of praise in song and prayer…
The pastor invited anyone who was so moved during the songs of praise… to come forward to the microphone… and pray whatever they felt led to pray…
We continued… intermittent songs of praise… with prayers from the people…
The pastor prompted the congregation… 
What shall we praise God for today…
The people responded… 
His patience… 
His compassion and mercy…
His glory…
His deliverance…

And the pastor prayed… others prayed…
The rhythm continued…
song of praise…
spontaneous prayer…
song of praise…
words of prayer…
spontaneous song of praise and prayer…
The pastor directed us to sit… and as he prepared to deliver a message… a woman from the congregation moved forward… she openly shared a powerful testimony… and sat back down…
The pastor… clearly following a leading… said… I had another battle story prepared for this morning… but I don’t think I’m supposed to share it today… then he called on a woman to share a dream… vision… she had regarding the church…
I saw her as he called her name…
Who me…? 
He mentioned the dream…
She pulled out her journal… moved forward… and shared her experience in prayer… how she hears Him… and the dream she had regarding this church…
She had clearly shared it with the pastor at some point… but did not know she would be asked to share with the congregation today…
And I see… in this church… where I never expected to be… how praise… and prayer… lead to true worship of Him…
Worship then leads… to transparency among the people… and an environment where testimony can be shared…
Praise + Prayer => Worship
Worship => Transparency + Testimony
What I saw today… is what I imagined worship to be…
Not programmed… not scheduled…
But organic… Spirit-led… plenty of margin for whatever He has in mind…
And I wonder after… at all it took to get me in that place at this time… on this Sunday… 
And I recognize how easy I could have dismissed His voice… 
And I’m so grateful I didn’t… miss lessons on praise… live and in person…
He has filled my heart with a new song… and a new vision… for praise… and… prayer…
Join The Journey… open the door for Him to teach you new lessons… live and in person…
This week’s readings…
Monday               Psalm 107
Tuesday               Psalm 108
Wednesday         Psalm 109
Thursday             Psalm 110-113
Friday                 Psalm 114-116

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