I guess I’m like most women. I love getting flowers. It’s kind of silly really. It’s not like flowers are good for anything. My grandmother told me that flowers are the most gracious of gifts because they don’t do anything except make you happy. It’s true. Flowers don’t have to do anything for me to love them. I just love them because of what they are.
It’s easy in our loving relationships to think of all the things our loved ones do for us. You might say “I love them because…
“They make me laugh.”
“They’d do anything for me.”
“They hold me together when I’m falling apart.”
Aren’t we all thankful for the ways our loved ones show us their love? But, do you love them like a bouquet of flowers? Do you love them for who they are? Would you find something to love if they sat in the middle of the dining room table, and did nothing like a bouquet of daisies? Maybe as they sat on the table, you would love them for their strength, their gentleness or their courage. When you love them like a bouquet of flowers, you know you love them more for who they are than what they do.
Did you know that God wants you to love Him like a bouquet of flowers? Most of us enjoy thanking God for the things He has done in our lives. “Thank you Lord for my health, my family, my marriage, and my home.” But what about prayers that are purely praise? Do you praise God for who He is? I call prayers of pure praise :you are” prayers because you begin by saying “your are.” “Lord you are…merciful. You are gracious, loving, kind, steadfast, powerful, abundant and couldn’t you go on and on?
Does it sound like I am splitting hairs? What’s the big deal? Does it really matter if you only say prayers of thanksgiving and no prayers of pure praise? The answer is it only matters on the days you don’t feel thankful. We all have seasons when our blessings are overshadowed by the dark clouds in our lives. Even under this cloud, you know you should be on your knees but it’s a tall order to sing God’s praises when you can’t see your blessings. Sickness, divorce, grief, job loss or heart ache can be right in your face, blocking everything else out. Maybe that’s why Hebrew 13:15 tells us to lift up praises all the time- on good days and bad. The verse says “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise.”
It’s harder to say prayers of pure praise than you might think. But the reward for saying to God “you are…” prayers is seeing Him more clearly. Each time you pray “God you are…” -you will push your relationship with God past your love for what He does and deep into your love of who He is. And believe me, there is no better place to be than standing in wonder of all the splendor of God. Go ahead, give praise a try.