Today's Insight from Chuck Swindoll

David's lonely wilderness sanctuary left him thirsty and hungry, not only for food, but for meaningful interaction with his God (Psalm 63:1-2). As his song continues, David describes a second decision he made to cultivate a relationship with the Lord: he decided to express praise to the Lord (63:3-5).

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips will praise You.
So I will bless You as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.

There's nothing mystical or mysterious about praising God. Verses 3 and 5 tell us that praise is something we do with our lips, not merely our minds. We speak something out loud so that others can hear our words of affirmation concerning the Lord, and—just as important—so that we can hear these words. Verse 4 says it is to be done "as long as I live," so it isn't a once-a-week matter. Moreover, where God's "lovingkindness" prompts David to praise his Lord (63:4), praise "satisfies his soul," according to verse 5.

Yes, praise is a deeply significant aspect of our personal worship. Unfortunately, many are afraid of praise because they associate it with some sort of wild, uncontrolled, highly emotional "praise service" in which individuals faint, scream, jump around, and dance uncontrollably in the aisle. Listen, praise is important! It is not limited to organized services. Praise is a consistent flow of appreciation for God in every circumstance throughout the day. Then, when we're alone, praise is an aspect of prayer.

A prayer could be divided into five parts:

  1. Confession (read Proverbs 28:13; 1 John 1:9). Dealing completely with sins in our lives, agreeing with God that such-and-such was wrong, then claiming forgiveness.
  2. Intercession (read 1 Timothy 2:1-2). Remembering others and their needs in prayer.
  3. Petition (read Philippians 4:6; Hebrews 4:15-16). Bringing ourselves and our needs to God. Remembering them and requesting things of the Lord for ourselves.
  4. Thanksgiving (read 1 Thessalonians 5:18). Prayer that expresses gratitude to God for His specific blessings and gifts to us.
  5. Praise (read 1 Chronicles 29:11-13). Expressions of adoration directed to God without the mention of ourselves or others—only God. We praise God by expressing words of honor to Him for His character, His name, His will, His Word, His glory, etc.

When a man dates his wife-to-be, praise becomes an important part of courting. When he appreciates the beauty of her hair, he should express it to her verbally. He should compliment her beauty, her choice of perfume and clothing, and her excellent taste. If he enjoys her cooking or a special gift, he should freely express his appreciation. If he admires the way she expresses herself, again, he should say something. When you love someone, praise should come naturally because it's a genuine, stimulating part of a growing relationship.

Praise isn't really something we do for God; He has no ego to soothe. We praise God for what it does for us. David found personal satisfaction in expressing praise for the Lord.

From Living the Psalms  by Charles R. Swindoll, copyright © 2012. Reprinted by permission of Worthy Inspired, an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

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