“Stan,” I began, “do you ever run out of things to praise God about?”
“You mean,” Stan replied, “do I get to the end of my praise list?”
“That’s it,” I said. “Sometimes when I’m praying, I can’t think of anything more to praise God about.”
“I saw something about that quite some time ago,” Stan replied. “It wasn’t specifically about praise, but I think I was shown how to apply it to praising God.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“At the end of John’s gospel,” Stan responded, “actually in the last verse, John says there were many other things he could have written about God in Christ. He put it in terms of the whole world not being able to contain all of the books if he had written everything.”
“That would be a lot of books!” I replied. “How does that apply to praising God?”
“To me,” Stan said, ”this means I could speak for eternity about my praise for God and not cover everything about which I can and should praise Him.”
“So what do you do about that?” I asked.
“With my prayers,” Stan replied, “I thank God for everything I know to thank Him about, and I praise Him for everything I know about which to praise Him.”
“After that,” he continued, “I tell God I don’t know everything for which I should praise Him. I acknowledge there are ways He has moved that are worthy of my praise, but they are ways I haven’t recognized. I ask Him to open me to see.”
“Then,” Stan added, “I give to the Holy Spirit all of the praise I do not know and ask Him to intercede and make my prayers perfect in the praise God deserves.”
“The Holy Spirit will do that?” I asked.
“He will and He does,” Stan replied.
“However,” he concluded, “I think I am to praise God for everything I know about which to praise Him, and only when I have gotten to the end of my list, do I give it to the Holy Spirit to take it from there!”
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books which were written. John 21:25.
And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26, 27.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for everything about which I have to thank and praise you. I thank and praise you for your love, grace, mercy, and every provision for life eternally in your presence when it’s time, along with the eternal life of knowing you and your Son on this side of eternity. I admit I do not know everything for which I should praise you. I want to praise you for all there is to praise, but I am limited in my understanding of what praises to speak. I give to the indwelling Holy Spirit all of the praise I do not know and ask Him to present to you all of the praise you deserve in perfect prayer. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: God wants and deserves our praise, but we are limited in our understanding of how to praise Him. Do you agree with that? Why or why not? Are you satisfied with the ways in which you praise God? Do your prayers focus more on what you want rather than on offering praise and thanksgiving? If so, do you think God would like you to focus more on praise? Why or why not? If so, what would it take for you to change your focus?