Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name
Praise and thanksgiving are part of every level of prayer. They are continuous as we walk in the light. To come before God with thanksgiving is no different than coming before our earthly parents with an attitude of gratitude. Nothing disturbs a parent more than a child who is always demanding, forever complaining, and never satisfied. How would you feel if you've given as much as you can as a parent and your child still wants more, more, more? On the other hand, how would you feel toward the child who snuggles up and says, "Thanks for being who you are. I just love you and I know you're doing the best you can for me." What a great parent-child relationship.
Can you imagine approaching God and demanding, "I want more!"
And He responds, "I gave you My only begotten Son."
"But I want more!"
We ought to start every day by saying, "Thank You, heavenly Father. I deserved eternal damnation, but You gave me eternal life. How may I serve You today?
Praising God is acknowledging His attributes. I try to be aware when I pray that God is the ever-present, all-powerful, all-knowing, loving heavenly Father. I don't praise Him because He needs me to tell Him who He is. He knows who He is. I am the one who needs to keep His divine attributes constantly in my mind. I try to keep the knowledge of God's presence foremost in my thoughts. No matter where I go, He is with me.
I'm always disturbed when I hear people asking God to "be there." It's like we are questioning His omnipresence. The same goes for asking God to be with our missionaries. We have the assurance of Scripture that He will be with them unto the ends of the earth. We can confidently acknowledge that He will neither leave us nor forsake us. We ought to thank God for His presence and ask Him to bring to our minds anything that may be keeping us from having perfect fellowship with Him.
Prayer: Father God, teach me to practice the awareness of Your presence and accept the sufficiency of Your attributes.
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