“And we will be careful to give You the praise, O Lord.”
With those words my father would end our daily prayer time. And with those words I knew my father was expecting an answer, and that he expected to be praising and thanking God for the answer.
It is with fondness and respect that I remember my father’s simple and expectant prayers. We had talked with God about the cotton crop, about Uncle Otis’s bad back, and about our church. And my father expected that we would be praising God for his answers. For my dad, praise and thanks said ahead of time were all a part of prayer.
I have wondered where my father learned to pray like that, and I think he probably learned it from people in the Bible. In Psalm 22, David begins his plaintiff prayer by telling God how he feels completely “forsaken” and “forgotten” by Him. It’s no holds barred with David! He tells God everything that’s on his mind and then tells God he expects to be praising God for the answer that will be coming: “I will tell of your name to my brothers and sisters; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you (Psalm 22:22).
Then there’s Paul in Philippians 4:6, telling believers: “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Paul says, go ahead and talk to God about whatever it is you’re worried about, and while you’re at it, go ahead and thank Him in advance for what He’s going to do.
What is it that you’re worried about today? Is it the plunging Dow Jones? Is it your children? Your dwindling bank account? Your doctor’s appointment? Talk with Abba Father about it, and yes, thank him in advance, and “be careful to give Him the praise.”
God’s perfect answer for you is coming in HIS time, in HIS special way, and in HIS wisdom. And when HIS answer finally comes, you will be caught up in amazement and praise at His wisdom and love. So why not begin to enjoy God’s answer now and let the praise begin?
Grace and Peace,