The Power Of Praise

Do you remember the old television show Hee-Haw? It was a sketch comedy show that also featured the most popular country music stars of the day. One of the songs they always sang, partnered with a terrible joke, went like this:

Gloom, despair and agony on me
Deep dark depression, excessive misery
If it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all
Gloom, despair and agony on me

While it was funny to see a bunch of guys and a hound dog laying around on the front porch singing about their tough times, that woe-is-me attitude is so prevalent in the world today. I was deep in one of those moods this week, and it definitely wasn't a scene from a television show.

Everything was going wrong when it really wasn't. No one cared about me even though they really did. I would have to struggle through this when I really didn't have to. I thought this feeling would never go away though in actuality it could pass very quickly. It was all about my perspective.

I ended up sitting at the dining room table staring at a pile of books (Not reading them, mind you. Just looking at them.) I didn't want to work, or write, or read, or even get up from the table. I was just in a funk. Then one of the books caught my eye: my praise journal.

Back in February I had completely filled my very first praise journal with thousands of things to praise God for. They ranged from having a roof over my head and shoes on my feet to catching up with friends and time for puppy cuddles. They came easily then, and it didn't take long to thank God for hundreds upon hundreds of blessings in my life.

But now, just a few months later, I hadn't touched that journal in weeks. I had gotten wrapped up in life, in my marriage, in my work. The time I used to spend keeping track of everything I praised the Lord for was now being spent working or relaxing or whatever else I felt like doing. But I was missing out on something very special with God.

Let everything that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD. Psalm 150:6

I was not following through with what the psalmist said was a vital part of a believer's life. As long as there is breath in our bodies, we should be using it to praise God. The rest of that stuff - things things I was choosing to do instead of putting my praises in writing - wasn't nearly as important as having those special minutes at the end of the day to reflect, praise and write.

If you've gotten away from praise in your life, you know exactly how I was feeling. But the minute I filled in a page of my journal, going over the 1,500 praises mark, it was if the woe-is-me was stripped away. I had taken my focus off myself and placed it back where it belongs. It wasn't a sunshine-lollipops-and-rainbows moment, but a weight was lifted as I read back through how blessed I am.

I encourage you to put on a humble attitude today and take a look at your life. You and I have been blessed with so many wonderful things, things we often hurry past on the way to something else. If you don't have a praise journal, start one. If you have a praise journal but haven't opened it in a while, pull it out. You don't have to spend hours writing because you can be thankful for the day in just a few minutes. Take advantage of this special time to talk with the Lord and let Him know how many different ways you've seen Him. He's working, and your praise for His daily blessings and miracles can make all the difference.

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