Monday, February 16, 2015

A Lenten Sacrifice of Praise

“Accept, Lord, the willing praise of my mouth (Psalm 119:108).

 We are entering the season of Lent, reflecting on the sacrifices that Jesus made for us through His life, death, and resurrection. 
Some people associate Lent with the negative aspect of giving things up.  Others choose to add something into their lives.  The sacrifice of praise encompasses both.

To sacrifice includes giving up, destroying, permitting injury to, or foregoing something valued for the sake of a more pressing claim.  Living with ongoing pain or illness we may sacrifice things such as jobs, relationships, and other activities.  Hopefully we maintain an attitude of praise year-round, but during Lent we can be even more willing to sacrificially yield our hearts and bodies to God’s divine plan for us each day. The limitations of pain and illness provide many opportunities to praise God through our losses.

As we choose to praise God through the negatives, we are also adding something positive.  Praise is one of the most powerful weapons of warfare against Satan’s attacks.  Battles were won through praise (Joshua 6, II Chronicles 20), and praise is not only for God’s glory but for our benefit. 

Here are a few suggestions for ways to praise to God during Lent:

Use a book of prayers by famous Christians and make them your own.

Pick some of your favorite Scripture verses and turn them into prayers of praise to the Lord.

Choose one attribute of God to praise Him for each day, thanking Him for how that attribute strengthens you during your most painful times.

Read Ephesians 1:3-14.  Praise Jesus for the gifts we receive because of His sacrifice for us.

The sacrifice of praise – however we choose to offer it – may well make the joy and victory of Easter even more powerful.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, as I think of the sacrifices You made for my eternal salvation, let me respond with a voice of praise, even during my greatest times of loss and pain. Use my praise to bless You and strengthen me, and use this Lenten season to deepen my faith and love for You. Amen.