When your prayers seem to go unanswered, praise Him and your list of requests will seem less crucial.
I will always thank the Lord; I will never stop praising him. —Psalm 34:1 (gnb)
I was pouting with God. For months, I’d asked Him for several things to take place. Nothing happened. My prayers were a passionless list of requests, all pleases and no thank-yous. I stared out the window toward our neighbor’s trail through the woods. Years ago, they’d erected garden art at intervals along the path. Why don’t you walk the trail and pray?
I doubted it was God speaking to me, but I pulled on my rain boots and trudged through the soggy grass toward the path. Praise Me for signs along the trail, God seemed to say. “Okay, but it’s not going to change anything.” Entering the woods, I spotted the first piece of artwork on display. “Thank You for the wind chimes tied to that pine tree,” I mumbled.
Keep praising Me.
I paused beside a plastic cardinal perched on a limb. “Thank You. You’re my Salvation.” Farther down the path, I saw a yellow tin butterfly. I touched its dotted wings. “You’re my Healer. You alone set me free.”
Each time I praised God, the words came easier. I discovered a mama black bear and her cubs made of particle board. “You’re my Defender.” A ceramic cow. “You’re my Provider.” A long shiny row of metallic sunflowers. “You’re the Alpha and Omega, Beginning and End.” I turned near a towering oak tree and studied a collection of red and blue metal stars. “You’re my Bright Morning Star.”
Leaving the woods to head home, I stepped onto my gravel driveway. “You’re my Rock.” The trees parted overhead. A thin ray of sun peeked through the clouds. “Your Son sets me free.” Amazingly, the more I praised God, the less crucial my list of requests seemed. God grew, and my problems somehow felt insignificant.
Thank You, Lord. Praising You changes my heart.
Written by Julie Garmon
Digging Deeper: Pss 147, 150; Heb 13:15