Summary: There are times when we should "praise only" in our prayers.
INTRO.- Listen to the prayers of some children.
ILL.- Dear God: Please send a new baby for Mommy. The new baby you sent last week cries too much. Debbie, 7
- Dear God: This is my prayer. Could you please give my brother some brains? So far he doesn’t have any. Angela, 8
- Dear God: Please help me in school. I need help in spelling, adding, history, geography and writing. I don’t need help in anything else. Lois, 9
Most of us rejoice in the prayers of children. They are not afraid to say what is on their mind; to God and to most people. They are very uninhibited when it comes to asking anything of God.
Have you noticed how often that most of our prayers are “asking” prayers? While it is true that we are encouraged to ask of God, there is more to prayer than just asking.
Ephesians 5:19-20 "Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Philippians 4:6 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
I Thessalonians 5:18 "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
It should be obvious to us that God wants us to be thankful people, thankful to Him and thankful to all.
ILL.- Have you complimented anyone lately? Have you praised anyone lately? Someone said, "A compliment can be a great motivator, particularly if you put a little thought into the why, when, and how of delivering it. Be sure to comment whenever someone keeps working in the face of rejection, handles a difficult situation well, catches an error, gives another employee a helping hand, etc.
"Most of the time, a compliment should be given in public, either at a meeting or on the company bulletin board. If the situation is delicate, convey your praise through a personal note that the employee can share with his family. As with all rewards, praise should be given immediately after good performance to provide the greatest reinforcement."
GOOD ADVICE! Many people die from lack of praise. It’s not that we personally should go around looking for praise, but many people deserve praise and seldom get it! And praise blesses and motivates people like nothing else!
ILL.- A man said, "Recently my wife and I sat charmed at an outdoor performance by young Suzuki violin students. After the concert, an instructor spoke briefly on how children as young as two, three and four years old are taught to play violin. The first thing the children learn, he said, is a proper stance. And the second thing the children learn--even before they pick up the violin--is how to take a bow. ‘If the children just play the violin and stop, people may forget to show their appreciation,’ the instructor said.
"‘But when the children bow, the audience invariably applauds. And applause is the best motivator we’ve found to make children feel good about performing and want to do it well.’"
DID YOU HEAR THAT? Applause motivates people to do well. And everyone needs to be applauded occasionally. Everyone needs to be complimented or praised for the good they do. Please don’t wait to give it! Do it immediately! Do it quickly. Do it sincerely. And the same definitely holds true for God our Father. IF ANYONE DESERVES PRAISE, HE DOES!
We need to be in the praising business when it comes to our Father. He is quick to do us good, but are we quick to give thanks? We ask often, but how often do we just praise him?
ILL.- "What can I do for you, Madam?" Abraham Lincoln asked an elderly lady who had been ushered into his private office. Placing a covered basket on the table she said, "Mr. President, I have come here today not to ask any favor for myself or for anyone else. I heard that you were very fond of cookies, and I came here to bring you this basket of cookies!"
Tears trickled down the gaunt face of the great President. He stood speechless for a moment; then he said, "My good woman, your thoughtful and unselfish deed greatly moves me. Thousands have come into this office since I became President, but you are the first person to bring something instead asking for something."
Brothers and sisters, there is a time when we need to come to our Father in praise only, not asking for anything. Simply praising. Blessing Him. Thanking Him. This is exactly what Psalm 103 is all about. It’s praise only. No petitions. No pleading. No asking. Just praise.