by Ray Harmer
King David had his share of trouble on this earth. Like us, some were self-inflicted. Retrospectively, I search my life and wonder how would it have been if I had not stepped on so many of the landmines of life. I always admired David for his life of praise. Despite his troubles, he always turned to the Lord and gave Him the praise due.
When I read through the Psalms, I am convicted of my lack of praise. I try to increase my praise, but the troubles of life and the cares of the world seem to interfere. The problem is the focus, or the lack thereof. When the hounds are clawing at the door, I am crawling to the Lord in prayer and praise. But where are we, when the seas of solitude surround us? When all is calm, does God find us praising Him? If we are honest with ourselves, most of us are in the same boat. We must strive to praise God more each day for the great and wonderful things He does (Ps. 86:10)! Let praise be the first thing on our mind when we awake.
Years ago, my pastor delivered a wonderful message about praising God and I committed to praising Him more. The next morning, while I was driving to work, the Arizona sunrise was awesome. The sun was blood red, the sky was afire and the desert floor appeared as if I were surrounded by an ocean. I broke out in a praise-fest. Out loud, I lifted the floors of Heaven with praise and thanksgiving. Making a joyful noise (far from what you would call angelic) I sang to God. My mind was focused fully on God. But then the world tugged me back out of the praise session when I realized I was going about 85 mph in a 55 zone! My heart started to beat with panic. I braked and looked around for an officer on this lonely highway. I could see it now. A highway patrolman giving me a ticket for praising God in a reckless manner! Truly God would love for us to be that focused on Him; minus the recklessness.
One of my biggest concerns is when I enter into the presence of God one of my shortcomings will be lack of praising God in this life; in this, I stand guilty. But, all of us are guilty to varying degrees. The Bible says in 1Th.5:17 Pray without ceasing. If one would study the model of prayer in Luke 11:2-4 (commonly referred to as the Lord’s Prayer) you would find the format for prayer. First and foremost, is acknowledging that God is our “Father” and that He is far and above us. The next verse is, “hallowed” be Thy name. That is praise! Praise and prayer are not always about asking. So if we continually praise God throughout our day we are following 1 Th. 5:17 by praying (praising) without ceasing. There are days I wish I would have gotten a ticket. I could use it as evidence when I face God. Lord thank you for fingers to type this letter… Let us resolve to praise Him; Who alone is worthy.