Book study: James, Part VII

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.” James 4:10

Last spring, I had the opportunity to take a ladies class on prayer. Having accepted Christ as a child, I have been praying for many years now!  Although I have been praying for decades, I realized I am still learning and growing each day!

Our teacher talked about the importance of praising God in our prayers.  As we sat there in our small circle, one by one were to simply praise God during our public prayer.

Many of us, myself included, seemed initially unable to just praise God in prayer. I might say a praise or two and then begin thanking Him for blessings and begin bringing Him petitions.

Praising Him in prayer, at first, seemed almost unnatural to me. Although I often thank Him in quick proclamations throughout the day, I had not practiced praising Him in prayer all these years.

In that class, I vowed to change.  We, in that class, were given verses to assist us in praising God; we could use those for the prayers, reading them or simply drawing ideas from them.

We also quickly learned that the Psalms are a wonderful place to turn when we needed a little help in praising God!

Once this praising became incorporated into my prayers, I gradually realized something: all my praises served not only to bring God glory, but help me remember just how great He is.  And, it helped me to remember just how blessed I am that our great God of the universe loves me- even so much He would die an unfair death for me, and for you.

Learning to praise Him in prayer did indeed help me to humble myself.  And, in humbling myself, I did indeed draw closer to God.

Reflections:

1) Memorize James 4:10.

2) Consider your personal approach to prayer.  Were you taught to praise God during prayer?

3) If you haven’t practiced praising God in prayer before, pray that He will show you how to implement it.

4)  Read Psalms for ideas, or some direct verse you can use during prayer.  Some starters: Psalm 18:1-3, Psalm 19:1, Psalm 24:7-10, Psalm 33:1-4.

5) Practice praising God in prayer everyday for one month.  At the end of the month, note the differences in your relationship with God.

I would love to hear about your journey toward praising God through prayer!  Please share your thoughts and ideas, along with a favorite verse or two, which helps you praise Him!

Thank you for reading! Please return by next Monday, October 15, 2012 for the next post!

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