"I will bless the Lord at all time, His praises
will continually be in my mouth."
"From sunrise brilliance to sunset beauty
Lift up his praise from dawn to dusk"
I am linking up with Bonnie Gray today over at Faith Barista as she begins a new Thursday link up entitled, "Faith Brews". Bonnie has written a beautiful book, "Finding Spiritual Whitespace" and I had the privilege of being part of her online launch team. The book was really helpful on my healing journey, and I am so grateful that she has shared her story to help others.
Today Bonnie asked us to share what word for 2015 we had chosen to reflect on. I wasn't sure I was going to even seek out a word, but when God shared with Joel and me that 2015 would be a pivotal year for us, I felt maybe it would be important to have a focus word. Was the word "pivotal"? Not that I could discern. Then I heard twice in two days from different two sources the statement, "A year without fear". Ok, maybe this was where I was being led, but it did not seem to sit right within.
Eventually the word praise popped up....again, and again, and again. I confess, I tried to ignore it, even after I asked for confirmation and it jumped out at me two more times! Praise. It just seemed soooooo been there, doing that generic. It seemed so that is, until I read Ann Voskamp's post on anxiety, and how the answer to anxiety is adoration of Jesus ~~in the form of gratitude ( Ann wrote a wonderful book on this topic, "One Thousand Gifts") and praise. Adoration. Then I read a powerful statement I came across out in cyber space.
"Praise brings God into every situation."
It all came together for me. I just love how God is in the details of our lives. Isn't it comforting? You see, at times I deal with anxiety, and lately I have been seeking ways to release it. Any of you have that problem? My body responds to stress quickly for reasons I have shared before. Even though a great deal of inner healing has taken place, the body seems to like to hang on to it's hyper-vigilant state. While asking God for more peace and less reactions, God in is perfect love presented me with an answer. Praise. He is pretty amazing isn't he!
I decided to research praise and discovered that just the word alone has 380 references at Bible Gateway. One of the verses I came across is Psalm 22:3, which goes along with the quote above.
"God inhabits the praises of His people."
I like this idea. Of course, we know He lives in us, but having Him dwell in our praises is kind of awesome, isn't it. Also during prayer, praise builds us up. We are told in the Bible that using our prayer languages (speaking in tongues) edifies us. Builds us up. And Nehemiah 8:10 tells us, "the joy of our Lord is our strength." We are strengthened in joy....in praise. Out of love, God blesses us even as we praise Him.
Having just begun this study on praise, I am excited about where God will lead me on this journey with Him. Among other things, I have already learned there is nothing generic about praise!