Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!
Let them extol him in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders. Psalm 102:31-32
Most church services start off with singing. Everyone standing, raises their voices to Heaven. That is praise. That’s extolling God. It is uplifting for the spirit and sets the mood for worship.
Whenever the faithful gather, the first thing they should do is praise God. Even in the assembly of the elders, or the meeting over the budget, or the planning of the snacks for Sunday school kids. How often do we gather in the House of the Lord for meetings that start out with milling around, a little gossip and then getting down to business? Even if we pray first as we assemble, is it praise-ful? It should be.
Not because God needs His ego stroked, or needs to be invoked like some mystic spirit. But because we need an attitude adjustment. We need to set the mood – the tone of the meeting together. We need to be reminded whom it is we are serving and His steadfast love for us as His people.
I once heard the proper order for prayer is PRAYING – Praise, Recounting, Atonement ,Yielding, Intercession, Needs, Glory.
We praise God from whom all mercies flow, we recall His past acts of love and redemption, we confess and atone for our sins and failing not do His will, and we yield our souls once again to Him. From there we can intercede for one another and pray for our own needs. Finally we glorify Him and thank Him for His goodness. As you read the Psalms, you will see they often follow this pattern.
The next time your committee meets whether it is in the Church building, the classrooms, in a home or even at a restaurant, begin with prayerfully praising Him. After all, He is the reason you are gathering together. Set the tone of the meeting extolling His grace and mercy. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how little quibbling goes on and how much you get done. It just may work for those family pow-wows as well.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above ye Heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.