PRAISE: The First Step in Effective Prayer

Praying consistently will change your life.  In fact, many of the blessings God wants you to enjoy will never be realized unless you pray.

I think all Christians know they are supposed to pray, and all Christians want to pray.  But many of God's people, if they are completely frank and transparent about the issue, would have to admit their prayer life is somewhere between mediocre and non-existent.

Over the next few devotionals, I want to share with you four simple points which I have put into an acronym: P-R-A-Y.  If you can spell the word pray, hopefully you will be able to remember how to make your prayer life more effective, and you will be inspired to pray more consistently.

Psalm 100 helps us understand the first letter, "P", in the word P-R-A-Y, which stands for praise.  Psalm 100:1-4 states it well,

Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands!  Serve the LORD with gladness; come before His presence with singing.  Know that the LORD, He is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.  Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.  Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

Verse 2 tells us, Come before His presence with singing.  And in verse 4 notice the words "enter into."  In other words, praise is how you are to enter God's presence.  It is the best way to begin your prayer.

When you want to come to God, you start with thanksgiving.  You start with singing.  You start with praise.  Or, as The Message says, Enter with the password:  "Thank you!"

Today, and every day, make praise the starting point of every conversation with God!

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