Tuesday, March 19, 2013
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Listen while you read: "I Love To Tell The Story"1 (Lyrics)

In Eugene Peterson's book of daily devotionals, Praying With the Psalms, more than thirty of the 365 readings are about praise for God. Peterson's comments in the September 17th devotional were like a cold, wet washcloth to the face as I read:

    We do not make God; he makes us. We do not take care of him; he takes care of us. We do not invent new attributes and duties for him; he creatively leads us into new styles of obedience and experiences of blessings. This realization evokes responses of trust and praise.

After reading it, I paused for a moment, then closed the book, and said, "Lord, teach me to praise."

I used my Bible and resource books with this question in mind: "How do I praise You, Lord?" The first thing I learned was a surprise.

Psalm 103:1 – Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. (NIV)

The Hebrew word translated "praise" can mean to kneel to bless God as an act of adoration. In this verse, David instructed his soul to kneel in adoration. Souls do not physically move; they believe and they move us with desire, passion, or compassion.

I had not knelt in private prayer in more than fifty years. As a result of my word study, I decided to kneel in adoration and blessing as part of my morning prayers. Every day, as I go to my knees, I say the beginning sentence of the Lord's Prayer. After that, I am quiet until I sense that it is time to go on with my usual prayers. On the third morning of my kneeling practice, when I "heard" a most tender, "Welcome home, child," my heart melted with joy! I learned that silence on bended knee tunes my innermost being to hear the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. What a huge reward for such a small act of praise!

I give thanks for what I read on September 17th. It served as a wake-up call to something amazing. The Holy Spirit led me to a new style of obedience and experience of blessing in private devotions. Trusting that there is more to learn, I continue my Bible study using the question, "How do I praise You, Lord?"

Is there more that you could do to praise God? As possible suggestions, here are some of the other meanings of the Hebrew word translated "praise": salute, congratulate, thank, and be still.

Prayer: Father in heaven, in the name of Christ Jesus, our Lord, we ask: please keep us looking for new blessings in our lives as we experience the work of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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Pat Bell <>
Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Wonderful insights Pat.

    Thanks Pat for this insight and for telling me about the Peterson book too!

    Oh Pat, Thank you for this joyful reminder to praise our loving God. Blessings.

    Terrific devotional Pat, Thank you.
    May the Blessings of Easter be with you and your loved ones.

    Thank you for your devotional. I agree completely with you Pat. If it does not come from inside it is not yours to give. God Bless.

    Dear Pat: Thank you for today’s message.
    When I think of worship I picture the three wisemen kneeling before their maker!
    I worship Him with my whole heart, soul and mind, but feel it’s inadequate!

    Hi Pat;
    I just read your devotional entitled “Praise”. Wow, that’s amazing. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I can’t wait until tomorrow morning to try that myself. Thanks again.

    Pat, thank you for sharing with us today. I always kneel in the morning and night and sometimes through out the day, just to pay or give thanks to the Lord for all he has done, is doing at the time or for what he is planning to do for me in the future. I’m very grateful. Thank you and let’s together keep doing this.

    Kneeling in prayer: this was my practice at home with my parents. It’s been several years now that I can’t kneel; I wouldn’t be able to get up if I did. Your practice of kneeling is a wonderful thing; I always felt so close to the Lord when I did. Thanks for sharing this experiences with us.

    Hi Pat:
    I started to read the daily devotion and said to myself, this is good. I need to know this and practice it. So I read on. And it only got better. Then I read the author of it and WOW, it was you. Thank you for helping me along in my journey.

    Dear Pat,
    I could relate to your experience and the blessings God provided. Like you, I am very grateful to God for the wakeup call!
    Also, after I read your devotional, I thought about the Catholic style of worship which encourages their members to kneel before and during communion. I think its a worthy tradition that could be very meaningful if it were practiced in more Protestant churches as well.
    Thank you as always, for this wonderful inspiring message!

    Beloved Pat,
    I LOVED your devotional from today.
    Psam 103 is my Favorite Psalm ever.
    I was taught as I child to kneel, for me is a normal thing to do it.
    Thank you for the devotional. It was very beautiful and refreshing.
    It was so nice to know you were the writer.

    Good morning Pat,
    Thank you for an inspiring devotional today. God grant that we all might have your experience; especially in the kneeling before God which for some who, owing to hip and knee replacements, cannot kneel. However the praise comes from the heart and that has to be consolation enough. I find that having many cassettes and ipods filled with praise hymns always puts one in an attitude of praise.

    Dear Pat, You didn’t say your age or gender but, I will tell you I am over 70 and a female.
    I married a man who was raised in the Mennonite religion and culture. I was raised to believe Christians were a little misdirected. I have actually been in the presence of Eugene Pederson at a funeral.
    My experience as a Christian has taught me the Lord is always watching and waiting to be our caregiver and teacher. The Lord never leaves or forsakes us ever. He is to be trusted beyond measure. Only on our knees can we have the right perspective. Thank you once again for your devotional.

    Hi Pat,
    I, too, used to have a problem with how to praise God in my morning devotions. I forget where now but some years ago I read about singing praise to God and now I often use praise songs or choruses in my Adoration part of my devotions. I find it very prayerful. Some examples are:
    “O God You are my God and I will ever praise You
    O God You are my God and I will ever praise You
    I will seek You in the morning and I will learn to walk in Your ways
    And step by step You’ll lead me and I will follow You all of my days.”
    “Praise the Father Praise the Son
    Praise the Spirit Three in One
    Clothed in power and in grace
    The name above all other names”
    These are just 2 of many that I use.
    God bless you and keep writing.

    Good Afternoon Pat:
    A beautiful message teaching us the importance of coming before the Lord in humble adoration and praising His name above every name in heaven and on earth. Your words of wisdom “We do not make God; he makes us. We do not take care of him; he takes care of us. We do not invent new attributes and duties for him; he creatively leads us into new styles of obedience and experiences of blessings.” instills in us the realization just how very brittle we are without the wonderful grace of our Lord and Savior taking care of us and providing for us eternally.
    This was indeed a “wake up call” for many of us who often think we are masters of our own universe and forget all the praise, honor and Glory belongs to the King of Kings.
    Thank you for a message of challenge and instruction.

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