In Bible Hour at church we have been talking about developing a thankful heart and attitude toward God and others. Thankfulness led us to talking about the importance of praise and worship in our relationship with God. Praise and worship are directly tied to our expression of thankfulness to God. To help us remember this concept, we spent time memorizing Psalms 100:2:
The book of Psalms literally means “songs of praise”, which is fitting because it is full of direct praise! Don’t get me wrong, the Psalms are genuine prayers and songs that capture the diversity of human emotion: praise, thankfulness, sorrow, pain, lack of understanding, etc. The Psalms are raw with emotion, but they consistently cycle back to praise, even when the writer is fearful or tired or doubting.
This week, I want to share one of my favorite Psalms of praise with you. Consider reading it together as a family or meditating on it individually this week. We often think about the Psalms that list all the attributes we should praise God for in our hearts. But what I love about this particular Psalm, is that it focuses on who should praise God, which is quite inclusive: ALL of creation! This is a great lesson to teach to our children. God wants everyone to praise him. Not just us, but all of his creation!
Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord from the heavens,
praise him in the heights above.
Praise him, all his angels,
praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shinning stars.
Praise him, you highest heavens
and you waters above the skies.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for he commanded and they were created.
He set them in place for ever and ever;
he gave a decree that will never pass away.
Praise the Lord from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,
lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
stormy winds that do his bidding,
you mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars,
wild animals and all cattle,
small creatures and flying birds,
kings of the earth and all nations,
you princes and all rulers on earth,
young men and maidens,
old men and children.
Let them praise the name of the Lord
for his name alone is exalted
his splendor is above the earth and the
He has raised up for his people a horn,
the praise of all his saints,
of Israel, the people close to his heart.
Praise the Lord.
Here are some ideas to talk about and encourage your children to do to develop thankful hearts and to engage in praise and worship:
1. Praise is one way we show our thankfulness for all that God has done.
2. Discuss some things that God has done for which we should be thankful.
Create the earth, give us families, love us, send Jesus to die for us, etc.
3. What are examples of ways we can praise and worship God? (Children sometimes get confused and associate “worship” with church service. But praise and worship are about our attitude and the actions that we carry throughout our week.)
Singing, praying,writing poems, memorizing a Psalm, treating others with appreciation and love, keeping a praise journal, etc.
4. Encourage them to pick at least one way that they are going to praise God throughout their week.
5. Keep adding to your thankfulness tree every day!
How do YOU keep an attitude of praise and a thankful heart through your day-to-day life?
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