When You Pray, Begin with Praise

 “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” (James 1:12)

Ramblings from Lacy’s dad I love it when one of the kids come up to me and love on me. Sometimes it will be while thanking me for something…of  course sometimes it is leading up to asking me for something. Either way, I love and adore them. I am willing to go to any extent to protect them and provide for their needs (not necessarily wants).

Being southerners, from the Bible belt, we were taught to answer with a ma’am or sir at the end. Even now I might ask one of the kids something, and get an occasional “yes”, but not a “yes sir”. I will look at them and hold my closed hand up, and as they say “yes sir”, I hold one finger up. We repeat this until all five fingers on my hand are up. Sometimes, they catch themselves and repeat it five times before I even get my hand up.

We are not teaching them that just for our benefit. We feel that it is a sign of respect any adult in their lives, deserves. How much more respect does our Heavenly Father deserve! He let His Son die in our place. We owe Him an eternity of gratitude. This morning when I was awake enough to know the time, I thanked God for another day of life. I thanked Him for Kris, for each one of our precious kids, and our two families. I thanked Him for our church family, friends, and co-workers that He has placed in our lives. As I went on, the praise grew easier and even more sincere.  My love and gratitude grew, and then a funny thing happened.

With great gratitude, I wanted to please Him…and in feeling that, was grieved for all the times I had failed Him, not having been as useful for Him as I should have been. He heard me plead for a second chance, a do over, to be used by Him. I know God doesn’t need me, but I am beginning to love Him enough, and appreciate Him enough, that in return, I want to be usable by Him.

But it all started this morning with a thank You…

Disney Trip 2, December 2004

Pray then like this: ” Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. (Matthew 6:9-13)