Monday, February 19, 2018

Praise in Song

Part 1

As we read in the Bible about the importance
of praise in our prayers,
we are also given numerous examples of praise in song.
One of the most well known songs and also one of the first
songs mentioned in the Bible is the song of Moses and Miriam
after the crossing of the Red Sea.

We all know the story of God miraculously opening up the sea
for the Israelites and defeating the Egyptian Army.
This song is worth reading in its entirety,
but just in the first 3 verses
we see praise flowing from the lips of Moses and the people.

Exodus 15:1-3
Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him. The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.

In beginning to list names of God and
also words describing God,
in these verses alone, we find a few more.

The LORD is my strength
my song
my salvation
my God
a man of war

Now I know I'm touching on a very
controversial subject here in dealing with
music and song and it's place in the Christians' life,
and there is much debate as to who wrote a particular song,
who sang it, who arranged it,
the syncopation and the instruments used etc.
 But ultimately our goal in worship through song,
is to glorify God.

Psalms 86:12
I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart:
and I will glorify thy name for evermore.

The more I study on the subject of praise, the more I find.
There is so much to be learned about how to praise God
and there are so many passages in scripture that draw
our attention to the need to praise God with our whole heart.

I have been doing a lot of reading and studying on this subject
and although I only started out to learn more about praise in prayer,
it has widened and deepened and
begun to encompass so much more,
that I am excited to see what else the Lord can teach me from His
word regarding praise and worship and its place in my life.

In saying all this, I would like to delve deeper into this
subject and share with you numerous examples from scripture
that highlight the need and God's desire for our praise of Him.

For those of you who know me well, you know that music is
a passion of mine and that singing and playing
holds a very important place in my life.
I would like to learn more on this subject of praise in song
and put into practice what I'm learning and I would like
to take you along on this journey with me.

But knowing our busy lives, my limited time for writing
and sadly the attention spans of many,
I would like to divide these posts into smaller
bits so that I, (and hopefully you) can have the chance to
really think over and read over and pray over the verses
that I'd like to share with you,
and take time in between, to practice
praise in prayer and praise in song.

Psalms 13:6
I will sing unto the LORD,
because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

What a joy to know that we serve such an awesome
God who deals bountifully with us, knowing full well
that we don't deserve His love,
but He pours out His blessings
upon our lives nonetheless.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Miriam Takes Mummy and Daddy
on a Holiday

Well, Grandma  and Grandpa and the Aunties
have been very lonely these past couple
of weeks, as little Miriam
decided to take her Mummy and Daddy
on a much needed holiday!

So, because we don't have our 
beautiful little darling here with us,
we have to make do with photos
sent to us of Miriam enjoying her time 
away seeing the sights.

Looks like she's enjoying herself
in her makeshift playpen
and getting in some zzzzz'z 
while mum and dad take in the sights. 

Getting to play on the beach for the first
time and travel on a BIG boat!

Sleeping (or not sleeping)
in the swag with mummy and daddy 
has been a great adventure! 

Oh, and don't forget getting to splash 
in the great Murray River without
the fear of crocodiles present!! 

Knowing Miriam was headed off on a 
holiday, Grandma had to get in a couple 
of quick selfies the day before she left.
First selfie with Grandma! 
I think we did alright?! 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

That's My King!

After writing an article on praise in prayer
recently, I sat down and began to list the names
of God. It is going to be a long process.
I have only just begun to scratch the surface
with names given to God in the Bible, but 
when you start listing God's characteristics,
well, let's just say, I'll be adding to this list daily.

Well, in doing this list, it put me in mind
of a six minute description of Jesus Christ
I had heard many years 
ago by a man named S. M. Lockridge.

Shadrach Meshach Lockridge was born in 1913,
the oldest of 8 children and the son of a Baptist minister.
He was an African American and pastored a 
 very large, predominantly African American congregation
in San Diego, California for 40 years. 

His description of Christ is so exhaustive
and so vast that it sounds to me like he 
really did KNOW Christ. And not just KNOW him.
He had walked with Him, and talked with Him. 
He had spent time, communing with God
and it shows through his description. 
He knew something about praise! 

Take time to read it below
(I know it's a lot of reading),
but why wouldn't you want to read 
of God's character and be blessed
in being reminded of who God is 
and what He means to you! 

My King was born King.
The Bible says He’s a Seven Way King.
He’s the King of the Jews—that’s an Ethnic King.
He’s the King of Israel—that’s a National King.
He’s the King of righteousness.
He’s the King of the ages.
He’s the King of Heaven.
He’s the King of glory.
He’s the King of kings and He is the Lord of lords.
Now that’s my King.

Well, I wonder if you know Him.
Do you know Him?
Don’t try to mislead me.
Do you know my King?
David said the Heavens declare the glory of God,
and the firmament shows His handiwork.
My King is the only one of whom
there are no means of measure
that can define His limitless love.
No far seeing telescope can bring
into visibility the coastline
of the shore of His supplies.
No barriers can hinder Him
from pouring out His blessing.

He’s enduringly strong.
He’s entirely sincere.
He’s eternally steadfast.
He’s immortally graceful.
He’s imperially powerful.
He’s impartially merciful.
That’s my King.
He’s God’s Son.
He’s the sinner’s Saviour.
He’s the centerpiece of civilization.
He stands alone in Himself.
He’s honest.
He’s unique.
He’s unparalleled.
He’s unprecedented.
He’s supreme.
He’s pre-eminent.
He’s the grandest idea in literature.
He’s the highest personality in philosophy.
He’s the supreme problem in higher criticism.
He’s the fundamental doctrine of historic theology.
He’s the carnal necessity of spiritual religion.
That’s my King.

He’s the miracle of the age.
He’s the superlative of everything
good that you choose to call Him.
He’s the only one able to supply
all our needs simultaneously.
He supplies strength for the weak.
He’s available for the tempted and the tried.
He sympathizes and He saves.
He’s the Almighty God who guides
and keeps all his people.
He heals the sick.
He cleanses the lepers.
He forgives sinners.
He discharged debtors.
He delivers the captives.
He defends the feeble.
He blesses the young.
He serves the unfortunate.
He regards the aged.
He rewards the diligent and
He beautifies the meek.
That’s my King.

Do you know Him?
Well, my King is a King of knowledge.
He’s the wellspring of wisdom.
He’s the doorway of deliverance.
He’s the pathway of peace.
He’s the roadway of righteousness.
He’s the highway of holiness.
He’s the gateway of glory.
He’s the master of the mighty.
He’s the captain of the conquerors.
He’s the head of the heroes.
He’s the leader of the legislatures.
He’s the overseer of the overcomers.
He’s the governor of governors.
He’s the prince of princes.
He’s the King of kings and He’s the Lord of lords.
That’s my King.

His office is manifold.
His promise is sure.
His light is matchless.
His goodness is limitless.
His mercy is everlasting.
His love never changes.
His Word is enough.
His grace is sufficient.
His reign is righteous.
His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
I wish I could describe Him to you . . .
but He’s indescribable. That’s my King.
He’s incomprehensible,
He’s invincible, and He is irresistible.

I’m coming to tell you this,
that the heavens of heavens cannot contain Him,
let alone some man explain Him.
You can’t get Him out of your mind.
You can’t get Him off of your hands.
You can’t outlive Him and you can’t live without Him.
The Pharisees couldn’t stand Him,
but they found out they couldn’t stop Him.
Pilate couldn’t find any fault in Him.
The witnesses couldn’t get their
testimonies to agree about Him.
Herod couldn’t kill Him.
Death couldn’t handle Him
and the grave couldn’t hold Him.
That’s my King.

He always has been and He always will be.
I’m talking about the fact that He had
no predecessor and He’ll have no successor.
There’s nobody before Him and
there’ll be nobody after Him.
You can’t impeach Him and
He’s not going to resign.
That’s my King! That’s my King!

Thine is the kingdom and
the power and the glory.
Well, all the power belongs to my King.
We’re around here talking about
black power and white power and green power,
but in the end all that matters is God’s power.
Thine is the power.
Yeah. And the glory.
We try to get prestige and honour
and glory for ourselves, but the glory is all His.
Yes. Thine is the Kingdom and the
power and glory,
forever and ever and ever and ever.
How long is that?
Forever and ever and ever and ever. . .
And when you get through with
all of the ever’s, then . . . Amen!
Borrowed from

If you would like to hear how it sounded when he preached this, click the link below to see it on youtube. It's even better to hear the excitement in his voice.

All this to say, we serve a GREAT God! He's my King! 
Do you know Him? 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Praise in Prayer

Matthew 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye:
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Luke 11:2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say,
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

Have you ever stopped to think about how much time you spend in prayer, just praising God? How often do you take the time, before praying about anything else, to praise and worship God,
the creator of the universe, the Saviour of your soul?

It is often thought that confession should come first as sin makes our prayers ineffective. Yes, sin does rob prayer of its power, but were it not for our great, merciful and loving God, our confession would mean very little.

When the disciples asked the Lord Jesus to teach them to pray,
the first thing he said was
When ye pray, say,
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.”

The Greek word for hallowed is hagiazo which means
“to revere or to sanctify”, “to be set apart”, “sacred, holy”.
So we are to praise God's name in our prayers
because He is sacred, holy, set apart.
His name is worthy. He is worthy.

The Lord Jesus was stressing to His disciples the importance of spending time
praising God and worshipping Him, before anything else.

When we spend time praising God, we take the focus off ourselves and place it on Him. In prayer, God is pleased when we first draw attention to Him, before drawing attention to ourselves.
Praising God at the beginning of our prayers
puts God in His rightful position right from the start.
When we praise God we declare
His sovereignty and we recognise
His awesome power and His
divine nature.

As one author so aptly puts it, “Here is one of the greatest values of praise; it decentralizes self . The worship and praise of God demands a shift of center from self to God. One cannot praise God without relinquishing occupation with self. Praise produces forgetfulness of self - and forgetfulness of self is health.”

When we take time to praise God first in our prayers,
we begin to see God for who He really is,
and it is to this all-powerful God that we will be
presenting our petitions. It changes our focus.

We read in the Bible how all creation sings God's praises.
I often think that if God's soulless creation sings His praises, then why is it that we, as humans and created beings, made in God's own image, the very ones He came down to this earth for die for, are so slow to praise?

Revelation 5:13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

Isaiah 55:12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

I find it amazing that not only the creatures on and under the earth praise God, but also the mountains and the hills and the trees!

In praising God in our prayers, we are setting aside
time to worship at Jesus' feet.
We are acknowledging that God is the giver of all things
and that He is worthy of honour.

Praise is the vocal adoration of God.
Adoration is the act of rendering divine honour, esteem, and love.”

Adoration is intense admiration culminating in reverence
and worship, together with the outward acts and
attitudes which accompany such reverence”

The Bible tells us that those who offer praise, glorify Him.

Psalms 50:23b Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me:

We are told to praise God in many of the Psalms.

Psalms 150:1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary:
praise him in the firmament of his power.
Psalms 150:2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Psalms 150:6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.

David knew something about trials and hardships
but he also knew a whole lot about praise and worship.
He knew exactly who deserved honour and who it was that
was his deliverer. He knew that God and God alone
was worthy of worship, for God is holy.

Psalms 99:3 Let them praise thy great and terrible name; for it is holy.
Psalms 99:5 Exalt ye the LORD our God,
and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.
Psalms 99:9 Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at
his holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy.

You don't have to read very far in the Bible to see the importance
of praising God. There are countless verses on the subject and I don't
believe it's an accident that they're there.

We know that God is holy and worthy of our worship,
but putting it into practice in our prayers is not always easy.
We get so caught up with wanting to make sure we
remember all the requests we have and the very
'important' petitions, that we forget to take time to praise God first.

Just take a look at your prayer list if you don't believe me.
I'm guilty of this too. How often do we actually, physically list
items of praise? I'm beginning to think it might be a good idea
to take the time to sit and write down a list of God's names that we read
in the Bible, to be a reminder of who He is and what to praise Him for.

Isaiah 9:6

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God,
The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

We should be continually praising Him for His name,
for His righteousness, for His creation, and for His great sacrifice
in giving His life for us.

Praising God is not just something we do when we sing
songs of worship on a Sunday morning.
It should be something we do on a daily basis,
in our prayers, as we go about our day,
as we talk to others.

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