Cultivating a Thankful Spirit: Day Nineteen
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving;Psalm 100:4
Go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and bless his name.”
We began our ten days together by focusing on Psalm 100:4, a verse that urges believers to come into God’s presence with an attitude of thankfulness, praise, and worship. These elements combine to create a sense of humility before the greatness of God, His power, His majesty. When we understand how great God is, we can only react in one way — utter awe that we express by lifting His name high. This admiration can take many forms — prayer, singing, and service.
Both the Old Testament and the New Testament provide guidelines for approaching God with thankfulness through prayers. In the Old Testament, Israelites entered the Tabernacle by following a specific progression, starting by laying down their past and admiring the glory of God. This time of sacrifice indicated that the Israelites were leaving their pasts and daily lives behind them in favor of celebrating the One above all things. In the New Testament, Jesus taught his followers to come before God with a simple prayer that honored His name before entering into times of confession or requests. This list includes songs that can be used to inspire or guide prayer time.
Praise also takes the form of songs throughout the Bible. The entire book of Psalms features songs written by King David and several other kings and priests. These songs praise God in both good times and in bad, when the writers were victorious as well as when they suffered. Modern believers continue this trend of singing as a form of praise, traditionally through “The Doxology.” This list includes modern praise songs that echo the Psalms and help singers focus their attention on God’s goodness.
Finally, Christian believers can worship in more ways than prayer and songs; service is a visible act of honoring God. Israelites performed their worship by sacrificing crops and animals in place of their own sins, creating another way for themselves and fellow believers to focus their attention on God. In the book of Luke, Martha models an updated form of serving God and serving others, namely by opening her home and creating an environment where her peers would be comfortable and attentive to Jesus’s teaching. Both the ancient Israelite sacrifices and the more recent acts of hospitality created environments that celebrate the wonder of God. This list includes worship songs that extol how great God is, helping singers glorify Him above all else.
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