I will praise God’s name in song
and glorify him with thanksgiving.
This will please the Lord.
I’m very excited about something that happened last week! I thought I’d share it with you but first a little back story.
My Back Story on Praise
Last week someone said something to me that wasn’t true. It really hurt my feelings. That night I lay in bed and pulled the covers over my head, partly because it was so cold and partly because I was feeling very sad.
But I started to whisper softly, “God, you are amazing. You are so loving. You are very powerful.” Pretty soon my sadness slipped away. I stopped thinking about what had happened and remembered how big God was.
That’s the power of–PRAISE!!
What I Did and You Can Do
So I thought it would be fun to introduce “my” kids at church to the idea of praise in a creative way. You can do the same with your kids.
When I do creative teaching for the kids at my church, I work with Mr. Dean. All the kids love Mr. Dean. During the day he may play inventory control manager, but at night he plays guitar and jams with the kids.
“Mr. Dean,” I said looking him square in the eye, “I really like your green hat.”
“And I like working with you. You’re so friendly and easy to be with,” I went on.
“Well, thanks,” he said, starting to look a little sheepish.
“You’re also very kind and thoughtful.”
By this time, Mr. Dean was blushing. But he was smiling too because WHO DOESN’T LIKE TO HAVE NICE THINGS SAID ABOUT THEM?
So I turned to the kids and said:
“What did I just say to Mr. Dean?” Nice things! they shouted.
“Totally! And that’s what praise is. Praising someone means you say good things about them.
“Moms, dads, and grandparents do this all the time, they say…
- ‘I love the way you helped your sister.’
- ‘You worked so hard picking up your room.’
- Or ‘I think you are so much fun to be with.’
“We can praise our friends, our teacher, our grandma, our parents. But we can praise God too. When you tell God how awesome he is, that’s praise. And just like you like it when people say good things about you, God loves it when we praise him!”
I could see the kids’ eyes light up. Aha! They were getting it.
I told them my story about my sad day and said…
“When something hard happens…
“When something sad happens…
“When you need to do something you don’t want to do…
“You can praise God. That helps you look at what, or Who, is good instead of what’s bad.”
AND WE DID. Praise God, that is. We bowed our heads and in short sentences told God how awesome he was. “You are awesome!” “God, you are good to me.” “You always take care of me.” “You are loving.”
There are few things as exciting as watching kids “get it” and pray from their hearts. They were making God smile! When you teach your kids to praise God, that’s what you’re doing: showing them how they can put praise into practice and turn a sad day into a good day AND putting a smile on God’s face. “I will praise God’s name….This will please the Lord” (Psalm 69:30-31a)