Last week we talked about how praise and thanksgiving empowers our life. It’s so exciting to know that such simple things can make such significant differences! It’s also true that misunderstanding certain things can keep us from experiencing all that God intends for us.
As we began discussing the differences between praise and thanksgiving, we discovered that sometimes we might miss the power of praise because we think that giving thanks is the same thing as praising God. I found this true in my own prayer life and missed the critical element of praise. Once I discovered the difference between praise and giving thanks, things changed for me! (If you have not read this article, please click HERE.)
Giving thanks is expressing gratitude to God for all He has done and all He has given us. Praise, on the other hand, is worshiping God for who He is. When we praise God, we focus on His nature and character. When we thank God, we focus on what He has done for us.
Looking Through the Lenses of Praise and Thanksgiving
Here are some everyday things we might think about when we consider gratitude.
Food and shelter
Family and friendship
Kindness from strangers
The beauty of nature
If we look at these items through the lenses of gratitude and praise, we might see the differences between those two things come to light.
• Food and shelter – I’m thankful for my home and the food on my plate. I can praise God because He is my Provider.
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19, NKJV) Click To Tweet
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19, NKJV)
• Family and friendship – I’m thankful for my family and friends. I can praise God because He is my Holy Father.
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. (Romans 8:16, NKJV)Click To Tweet
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. (Romans 8:15-16, NKJV)
• Good health – I’m thankful for my health and ability to do the jobs God has given me. I can praise God because He is my Healer (Psalm 47:3)
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3, NKJV)Click To Tweet
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3, NKJV)
• Kindness from strangers – I’m thankful when strangers are kind to me. I can praise God because He is my Comforter.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God of all comfort. (2 Cor. 1:3)Click To Tweet
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, NKJV)
• The beauty of nature – I’m thankful for the beauty around me in nature. I can praise God for being the Creator of all things.
All things were created through Him and for Him. (Colossians 1:16, NKJV)Click To Tweet
For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. (Colossians 1:16, NKJV)
• I’m thankful for Jesus – I’m so grateful for Jesus in my life. I can praise God because He is full of grace. (Ephesians 1:5-6)
To the praise of the glory of His grace, He made us accepted in the Beloved. Eph. 1:5Click To Tweet
… having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:5-6, NKJV)
Do you see how the first sentence expresses gratitude, but the second sentence shows praise for a characteristic of God? Both are necessary and impacting in our lives! It’s good, however, to understand the differences between the two because missing one or the other is going to leave an empty place that needs filling.
Helpful Resources for Adding Praise to Your Prayer Life
Do you need the same kind of help I did? I was good at giving thanks, but I missed out on praising God for who He is!
If you find yourself in the same place, here are some resources that might help you! I’ve personally used all of these, and they have been beneficial to me. I even referred to them as I was writing this post, so the uses go further than just prayer. These are helpful for Bible study as well!Need some helpful resources for your prayer life? Find them here! Click To Tweet
Here are some helpful printables that will guide you in learning about the nature of God and give you ways to worship Him according to His attributes.
Scripture Cards from Missional Women about the attributes of God – Click HERE!
30 Days of Praying the Names and Attributes of God from the Navigators – Click HERE!
Here are two posts from Journey to Imperfect that might help you. Each post has printables and a helpful infographic. (You can find printable versions of these infographics in our Resource Library. Click HERE to learn more.)
You can also sign up for the Resource Library here at Journey to Imperfect which is full of free downloadable and printable helps for your prayer life.
I hope you find these resources as helpful as I have! Join me next week as we learn how to do an online Scripture word study that will help deepen our understanding of thankfulness!
*To read part 1 of this series, just click HERE.
This week’s verses are linked to their appropriate pages at Bible Hub. Click on the links to study each verse in more detail!
What are some characteristics of God that you praise Him for? Please share in the comments below!
Dear Heavenly Father, we praise You for who you are. You are our Healer, our Comforter, our Holy Father, and Creator. You are so much more than we can ever fully comprehend, yet you share Yourself with us and love us so deeply that You sent Jesus to die for us. You are good, God. We love you. In Jesus name, Amen.
Join me next week for a Thanksgiving Scripture study! You’ll learn how easy it is to do a Word study online that can deepen and enrich your study of God’s Word.
* This post may be shared in other encouraging places. Click through the links below!
Moments of Hope / Tuesday Talk / Tell His Story / Cheerleaders of Faith / Coffee for Your Heart / Sitting Among Friends / Live Free Thursday / Chasing Community / Salt and Light / Heart Encouragement Thursday / Counting My Blessings / Grace and Truth
The post Empower Your Life with Praise and Thanksgiving (Part 2!) first appeared at www.journeytoimperfect.com
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