40 Days of Prayer: Day 36
Sacrifice of Praise
Through Him then, let uscontinually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.
Sacrifice: an act of slaughtering an animal or person or surrendering a possession as an offering to God.
Praise: to glorify God especially by the attribution of perfections.
If we think of sacrificing something, we think of it costing us something. But to praise, well, that seems joyful, something we do when we have a grateful heart. But as we look at Gods word we see that Praise and Sacrifice are indeed connected. If we praise someone or something it does not cost us anything, other than breath. Think about it, when our kids do something well, we praise them. When our dog responds to commands, “Good girl”, praise. Praise should be a natural response when something benefits us, and the funny thing is we feel generous because we praise someone. We tend to praise God the same way. Its easy to praise Him when, he has blessed us, protected us and provided for us, and we feel, so generous when we do that. Sunday mornings we sing to him, worshipping and talking about how good God is, which is awesome and worth it. But did it cost you anything? Was it a sacrifice?
What about the times when the prayer wasn’t answered the way we thought it should be? A test for cancer came back positive. Or your spouse serves you with divorce papers? One of your kids walks away from God and gets caught up with the wrong crowd? Maybe the bank is done waiting for payment and you are evicted? Its in these times that God “Seems” far away and praise is not exactly on the top of our minds or heart. We would even join with King David in shaking our fist at God asking why he has forsaken us.
This is when a sacrifice of praise comes in. A personal sacrifice, we must willfully lay it all on the altar before God, even though we do not understand. Its knowing that God is in control even when things are hectic and the storm is raging.
Casting Crowns sings a great song, I Will Praise You In The Stormand the chorus says it all.
"And I’ll praise You in this storm And I will lift my hands For You are who You are No matter where I am And every tear I’ve cried You hold in Your hand You never left my side And though my heart is torn I will praise You in this storm"
God can be trusted, He is faithful
Praise the Lord! Praise the name of the Lord; Praise Him, O servants of the Lord, You who stand in the house of the Lord, In the courts of the house of our God! Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; Sing praises to His name, for it is lovely.
The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble, And He knows those who take refuge in Him.
If and when we can choose to praise Him in the midst of the storm and inspire of those storms, our faith grows, we become stronger. Our mind and heart must be set on praising Him, no matter what.
“Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. Nevertheless I will argue my ways before Him.
Our opening verse say’s; " let uscontinually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God”. As we praise God it is not something we do based on our perspective of God’s “job Performance”. How arrogant of us to think that we can somehow reward God for him blessing us? Many people praise God with their lips only.
"Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me…"
True heartfelt praise is ongoing, regardless of our circumstances. We must make a habit of worshipping God in the good times and bad times.
When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them;
James 4 it says that God opposes us in our pride and gives grace to us when we are humble, so if we can humble ourselves before the Lord He will lift us up. If we are to offer a “sacrifice of praise”, it only comes from a humble and broken heart that has been purified by the fire of the Holy Spirit. That sacrifice comes from choosing to honor God in spite of any pain we are experiencing. My own wife's words echo in my head when she was diagnosed with breast cancer; “May my faith be seen and may God be glorified through this”.
O Lord, open my lips, That my mouth may declare Your praise. For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
I challenge you to praise him in the good times and bad.
Praise Him in the storm…
Prayed for you all this morning!
Much love and blessings!