Sing a New Song: Tap Into the Power of Praise

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song. ~ Chinese Proverb

I get up often in the morning about ‘dark:30’, that peaceful time before the rest of the world is awake. One particular day, as I sat in my favorite spot, looking out the window,  the horizon was clear. The moon, flying at full-staff, glowed golden in mid-sky. We were supposed to get a storm, and as I watched, clouds began to sail in from the west. At first timid mists, they soon grew more substantial, shading and streaking the moon’s light.

Interestingly, the birds are singing … in the dark. Nowhere in the rest of the day will their songs be so strong and clear, so many voices in chorus to the dawn. As I listened to the feathered choir, it occurred to me that we should do the same. Sing praises when we are ‘in the dark’.

The Bible tells us that “God inhabits the praises of His people” (Ps. 22:3). To me, that means we can receive God’s presence and blessing through our praise. Yet we seem to hesitate to praise Him when our lives are not going well. Instead, we complain, moan and beg. We ask for deliverance instead of strength. We wait for others to change instead of ourselves. We pray for miracles instead of perseverance.

I Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us, “Be joyful always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” It doesn’t say give thanks for everything. You needn’t be grateful for the trials and temptations. But you can be exceedingly grateful for God’s presence, His assurances that you are the victor, more than a conqueror, a child of the Divine. You are loved and cared for more than your human mind can ever comprehend.

Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Anxiety and worry solve nothing. But God’s presence and power are always available, always working on your behalf. Be grateful for that.

Those birds have the right idea. While it is still dark, they begin singing – I believe in gratitude – for the coming day. Before they ever see the blessing of sunrise, they thank God for the joy of living, the provision He promises and the protection He provides.

As the horizon lightens, bringing the dawn, they wait, their songs suddenly quiet. Praise is like that. As we pray and praise, thanking God for the blessings we have and those we hope for, we become more aware of His mercy, generosity, love and peace. Our spirits overflow with gratitude and we become silent in His presence, contemplative and expectant. We sense the dawn in our spirits … as we wait patiently in quiet anticipation.

What ‘dawn’ are you expecting … or needing? What new day, full of fresh opportunity and blessing, awaits you? Do you trust God enough to praise Him in advance for the blessings coming your way? The Bible says to thank Him when you pray, not when you actually receive. Everyone says ‘thank you’ when they get a gift. Faith offers praise and thanksgiving before the manifestation, trusting God’s promises.

It’s an hour later now … the eastern sky is lighter, and no sound breaks the stillness. The birds, so noisy just minutes ago, are hushed. All nature awaits the blessing of sunrise. I encourage you to take a lesson from God’s feathered friends. Rise early, give the first hour to God in praise and thanksgiving … and watch the blessings dawn in your life.

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