I Do Not Know How To Praise God
I don't know how to
Have you every gone to someone for ministry and come away feeling worse than when you went in? Well I have.
At this point in my life I had been a Christian for some years, but I was having problems with praise. I didn’t know how to praise, I would try as hard as I could, but I just wouldn’t know what to say.
I would watch as people around me in the worship time would raise their hands and worship. Praise seemingly would just effortlessly pour out of their mouths. How come they could just do this? Where did they get the words?
Every time the worship was really special and everyone would be seemly transported. I would be left behind, just feeling lost and not knowing what to do, or how to do it. And guess what, I didn’t like it one bit.
It used to get right up my nose, ( it used to upset me) that they could praise God and I couldn’t. If I’m honest with you, not only was I upset because I couldn’t, my pride was hurt because they could.
Just a little bit of Spiritual Pride
No doubt from this you can tell that I was also having a bit of a problem with spiritual pride as well. I thought I knew as much if not more than some of them. Yet here I was in the area of praise lacking in both understanding and ability.
How come these people, who didn’t seem to know as much as me could praise God and I couldn’t? I should have read the Good Book a bit more carefully. Then at least I would have known the reasons for some of my problems without going to the minister.
Psalms 12:3 The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things:
Time for Ministry
Well one day, it got to the point that I had really had enough of this. I wanted some answers so I went to see my minister.
I told her that I was having problems in the area of praise. I told her how I just couldn’t do it. Then one of the elders of the church arrived oh just perfect I thought. He had just dropped in for a coffee on his way back from a meeting. Well he joined us and I told him also what my problem was.
I felt like everybody was going to know my business soon, and my pride was beginning to show. The three of us began to pray and first one said that God had showed them that it wasn’t that I couldn’t but that I wouldn’t.
Then the other one said exactly the same. So now I had the problem of not being able to praise and on top of that problem I now had two people who didn't believe me. This was just getting better and better.
They both thought that I could but that I wouldn’t. So slowly and as gently as I could, I began all over again to explain to them both. In other words with more than a hint of sarcasm. I explained, that I really wanted to and that it wasn’t because I didn’t want to, it was because I couldn’t.
I felt Worse After Ministry than I did Before
Well I thought that would settle it, but I was wrong. They both kept telling me that God had shown them that it wasn’t because I couldn’t, but because I wouldn’t.
Well by now you just have to know that I was not happy little bunny at all. In fact I felt much worse than I did before I came.
After all when I came I only had the one problem, which was that I couldn’t praise, and now here I was with two problems. I still couldn’t praise and on top of that I couldn’t make myself understood by these two.
I was not a happy person. After a little more going to and fro from can’t to won’t I finally had enough.
"Thanks very much that’s been really helpful" I said with more than a little bad grace and just a hint of sarcasm.
They both, with much more grace bid me goodnight. At this time my husband was not a believer, and God was certainly not a topic of conversation in our home. So I had no one at home to talk to about this.
I returned home frustrated angry and upset. I let my husband go to bed and I stayed down stairs on my own. I wanted to cool down, I knew that I would never sleep feeling like this.
Don't You Understand I Can't
No one Understands me
After a while I began to pray. I felt like no one understood me, not even God.
I truly felt and believed that I could not praise and I felt it very unfair of them and God to say that I could.
Well with a stinking attitude, which at this time in my life I am sad to say I was more than familiar with, I began. I know I can already hear you saying this not a good start.
I began to thank God for being able to praise Him. I said this with much sarcasm and a hint of sneering. It went something like
"Oh thank you so much God that I can praise you" and "thank you so much that I have no problem praising you."
I continued in this vein "It is so wonderful that I can do it whenever I like, I am so glad, thank you very much."
It was clear that I was angry hurt and upset. On I went "Oh and thank you for your ministers who can see things so clearly, and know me better than I do."
I was Wrong
It was as I was going on talking to God in this vein that the weirdest thing began to happen. My sarcasm began to become real praise, I started somehow to mean the things I was saying.
My thanks and praise began to flow out of my mouth and my heart began to overflow. Those things that I began saying in sarcasm and which when I began I really didn’t believe, were true.
I now began to say them in earnest and to see them to be gloriously true.
So, guess what? God and the other two were right and I was wrong. I could praise.
I spent the next two or three hours just praising God, and the more I praised him, the more I found that I had to praise him for.
One of the consequences of this is that I have stopped judging other people. I have stopped having an opinion on their relationship with God.
After all I found that I wasn’t even right about my own condition, never mind anyone else’s.
God was so gracious that night in his treatment of me and so were his ministers. But then again that’s His way, and praise God He is at work in me to make it my way to.
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