“8 Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
9 Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!
10 Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
11 Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually!”
(1 Chronicles 16:8-11)
I’ve done a little off-the-cuff research and I’ve come to the conclusion: We don’t praise God nearly as often as we should. After deciding to keep track of prayer requests for the last two months at the church I attend, I may have unofficially determined that we lift up very few prayers of praise. I’ve listened to prayer requests in Bible classes, read church bulletins for requests, and been a part of many conversations where prayers were solicited, and here were the findings:
- prayers for the sick or general health requests- 71%
- prayers for worldly affairs (those affected by natural disasters, tragedies in the news, government/political related prayers)- 21%
- prayers for miscellaneous things (salvation of a friend or loved one, prayers for particular ministries, etc.)- 6%
- prayers of specific praise- 2%
Now, please don’t hear me say that those prayer requests are wrong! We are absolutely encouraged throughout the word of God to offer up all sorts of prayers and that God hears every one of them. He wants us to bring him all of our cares and concerns. And yes, I admit it was a small sample size to pull statistics from. But you’ve got to admit that 2% for prayers of praise over a 2 month period in a church of about 160 people is an awfully small amount.
Like Daniel’s song of praise quoted above, we should give thanks to the Lord as often as possible. And why not? We are blessed beyond anything we can imagine! God is so worthy to receive our thanks every day for all that he’s given us and done for us. He deserves our worship. He’s earned our adoration. The works of his creation cry out to be appreciated.
So what do prayers of praise look like?
- simply be thankful for a brand new day (Psalm 118:24)
- praise God for his mercy and forgiveness (1 Peter 1:3)
- thank him for his daily provision in your life (Philippians 4:19)
- be grateful that he has provided a way of salvation (John 3:16)
- be appreciative of the guidance and instruction of his Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
- thank him for the beautiful world we live in and dream of how amazing Heaven will be (Psalm 19:1)
Most importantly, save some prayers of praise for God where you don’t ask for anything. Just be content in the moment and enjoy the goodness of God. Like any loving father, He relishes the opportunity to hear his children come to him with a grateful heart. Keep offering those prayers of supplication, because God has promised to answer (1 John 5:14-15), but make sure you’re lifting up prayers of praise as well.