I think most of us have heard about the famous hashtag #1000gifts. Ann Voskamp wrote an incredible book about how dramatically your life will change when you can see everything around you as a gift from God.
She asks, “how do you open the eyes to see how to take the daily, domestic, workday vortex and invert it into the dome of an everyday cathedral?…Praying with eyes wide open is the only way to pray without ceasing."
Through her book, women everywhere have been taking the mundane, the everyday, the ordinary, and offering thanks to God - seeing the everyday (dirty floors, soap bubbles, a rising moon) as a gift…it has been very powerful in my own life.
I have found over the past 2 years that I do a much better job of thanking God for the everyday and ordinary, but very rarely spend time thanking God for who He is.
Something I have been praying since August is for God to reveal himself to me. I want to know who He is. I want to know His character. I want to be able to think on his attributes and gaze on his beauty.
I recently finished Timothy Keller’s book Prayer, and boy, were my eyes opened.
Keller says, “We cannot merely believe in our minds that [God] is loving or wise or great. We must praise him for those things…if we are to move beyond abstract knowledge to heart-changing engagement."
And isn’t that what I want, when I have been asking God to reveal his character? To have “heart-changing engagement”?
You hear all the time about how we become what we love and we become what we worship. And gosh almighty, do I love and worship some pretty awful things…my work, my organization, myself. And, I sure do long for so much more than merely myself. I want to worship something so much greater than me.
After reading Keller’s book, I have been really drawn to praising God for who He is - taking what I am learning about Him, and turning it into an opportunity to speak awe, amazement, and praise to God. I have started by reading through a Psalm each day, going verse by verse to see what it says about God, and speaking praise to God for what I learn and know about his character.
For example, the other day I was reading Psalm 32. As I read verse 7, I was able to praise God that he is a place in which I can hide, a place that is safe when I feel surrounded by things that are not going as I want them to go. After reading verse 11, I was able to see how God gives us a reason to be glad and shout for joy despite our circumstances, which I was then able to turn into praise.
Turning what I am learning about God into a statement of praise about who He is has renewed so much within me this month, and really brought what I am learning into new understanding.
So, instead of JUST speaking our #1000gifts for the blessings in our life, let’s all speak PRAISE for who God is and what his character says to us.
Do you spend time praising God for who he is? If so, how do you go about doing it?