Praise First!

What is your number one prayer request today?  You know the one you pray about more than anything else, the one thing that is constantly on your mind day and night.  You really want God to do something about it—preferably today—like right now would be nice.

This week I was reading in Genesis, and the Lord caused a sentence to leap off the page and into my heart.  I love it when He does that!  It was Genesis 46:28.  “Now Jacob sent Judah ahead of him to Joseph to get directions to Goshen.”  You’re probably asking, “Whhhhaaaat?”  This is when Jacob learns that his son Joseph is alive after many years believing he was dead.  There is famine in the land, and Jacob and all his descendants are moving to Egypt where there is food and Joseph is ruler over all of Egypt.  Jacob sends Judah first.

Judah is the fourth son born to Jacob, and his name means “praise” (Gen. 29:35).  The patriarch Jacob doesn’t know everything that awaits him down in Egypt, but he sends “praise” first.  Centuries later, King Jehoshaphat’s parade of musical soldiers (the nation of Judah) march into battle, and the Lord set an ambush against the enemy (2 Chron. 20:20-23).  Job has no clue why his life suddenly turns so painful, yet he chooses to praise God (Job 1:21).

We praise God because He is worthy of our praise at all times, even when we don’t know what the future holds, or we’re in the fight of our lives.  What percentage of your “God time” is spent thanking Him and praising Him?  Praise Him first—before the answer or when the answer is “no” or “wait” or something else totally unexpected.  Praise and trust go together, and there is something very liberating that happens inside us when we do.

“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name” (Heb. 13:15).

“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” (Rev. 5:12).