I just read Max Lucado’s new book, “Before Amen.” It is a small, but powerful expose of his personal journey of being a self-described prayer wimp. I can totally identify with him because that’s the story of my prayer life, as well. Prayer is hard. Prayer takes discipline. Prayer takes time. And sometimes, we can feel as though the Lord is not hearing us, and even more frustrating, not answering us. But we can rest assured today, that God does hear the prayers of His children, and He does answer them. It may not come in the form we wanted, and it may not come in the time we wanted, but He answers in one of three ways. Instantly, eventually, or ultimately. So exercise faith in God today by trusting Him with your prayers. Then praise Him and worship Him in advance for answering those prayers. And remember, your worship is a lifestyle.
I’m sure you’ve seen by now the youtube videos of a flashmob…those seemingly spontaneous moments in a mall or a crowded place where lots of people simultaneously start singing or dancing. There’s really no rhyme or reason to them, but they always bring a lot joy to those who witness the moment. I imagine that’s kind of what David was like when he wrote Psalms 101. This song is one that the people would break out singing as they approached and entered the temple. And they would sing these words to God. “I will sing of your mercy and justice; to you, O Lord, I will sing praises.” Remember, we worship a God who gives mercy and Justice for free. He has already paid the price for us. When you truly think about that, it makes you want to dance and sing…even if you are in a mall!
Pain can come in a variety of different forms. There is physical pain, of course. But pain also comes from the loss of a loved one, or from loneliness. There is also the pain of a broken relationship or the pain of hurt feelings. Whatever it may be, chances are you have experienced real pain in your life. Sometimes it’s not easy to get over it. But it’s a good reminder today that God is our refuge. We worship the one who “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” He is “near to the brokenhearted and saves those with a crushed spirit.” And best news of all, there is coming a day when God will ultimately take all His children from the pains of this earth and “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall thee be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Think of a person in your community or church who has a stellar reputation. Their name is golden in your town. But even the greatest of people make mistakes and can’t please everyone. However, there is one name which stands above every name. It is the name of the Lord Most High. All of creation, from the beginning of time to the end of forever, sings praises and brings glory to God Almighty. He is so awesome and so mighty that it didn’t take the strength of His arms or even his hands…it only took the strength of His fingers to sling the stars and the planets and the galaxies into space. And oh how they shine. They shine the magnificent light of the Savior, and reflect the flawless character of God. So if all of creation testifies to the excellent name of the Lord, we should join that song of praise by living a lifestyle worthy of what can be called true worship.