Thanking versus Praising
Do you know the difference between thanking God and praising him? We thank God for what he does or provides for us. We praise him for who he is.
The smallest children can think of endless things to thank God for—especially if they are trying to avoid chores or bedtime.
A preschooler will thank God for Mommy and Daddy, Grandma and Grandpa, trampolines and triangles, birds and bugs, wallpaper and toilet paper, and every single toy they own.
The list may go on until whoever is listening to the child calls a halt.
You and I thank God for our families, our finances, and our friends. We thank him for our health and our homes. Our list can go on indefinitely too—and it should. Being thankful keeps us focused on what we have instead of what we don’t. It wards off discontentment and a bad case of the gimmes.
Start your day with thankfulness
The best way to thank God is by starting every day with an intentional heart toward thanking him. Try it right now. Quickly think of twenty things you’re thankful for. Just start whipping off the list.
Not sure where to start? Try electricity, curling irons, fresh produce in winter, kitchen appliances, washers and dryers, medicine, your Bible(s), television, soap, toilet paper, freedom of worship, grocery stores, ballpoint pens, cookbooks, privacy, a job, and safe drinking water.
There are countless things to be thankful for, aren’t there? We have so much to thank God for in all that he does and provides.
But we should praise God every day too! The Bible calls us to praise God. We can read more than 250 times in the Bible where men, women, angels, and creation praise the Lord! If God put it in his book that many times, it must be important. We praise him not for what he does but for who he is.
Are you up for a praise challenge?
Praise God for his character: God, I praise you because you are . . . loving, kind, gentle, beautiful, patient, generous, caring, fun.
Praise God by listing who he is to you: God, I praise you for being my . . . Father, Husband, Provider, Healer, Comforter, Protector, Savior, King, Peace.
Praise God for his unchanging qualities: God, I praise you for being . . . perfect, present in my life, in control of what I cannot control, loving, merciful, wonderful, good, holy, just.
You can praise God by name: I praise you, God, for being . . . the One True God (Elohim), the God Who Sees (El Roi), the God of Beginnings and the End (Alpha and Omega), the God of Mercy.
If you need some help praising God, just look at the Psalms. Psalms 146–150, in particular, are filled with praises.
Praising is a way of acknowledging God. It takes practice because it’s so easy to slip back into thankfulness. Practice both—because he is definitely worthy of both our thanksgiving and our praise.
Verse for today: Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. —Psalm 150:6
Prayer: Lord God, you are good and mighty and true and faithful. Fill my mouth with your praises and proclamation of who you are! In Jesus’ mighty name, amen.