By: Lynn Cowell
Proverbs 31 Speaker
“Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.” Psalm 103:1 (NIV)
It wouldn’t stop burning. Like a sunburn after hours on the beach, the heat on my hands stayed for hours. As a blessing to my family, I made Aunt Carol’s jalapeno peppers. With the sharp knife and chopping block, I had transformed eighteen peppers into little boats of tasty fun. What I hadn’t counted on was that ten minutes of exposure to the pepper’s oil to my dry skin produced a burning that lasted for hours.
As I looked at my red, cracked hands I thought of a different oil that I had been exposing myself to over the past few months. The Bible refers to this as “the oil of gladness” or the “oil of joy” (See Psalm 45:6-7, Isaiah 61:3). I made a change in my daily time with Jesus and now the Holy Spirit was leaving His powerful residue on my dry, cracked heart.
In the heat of the summer months, my heart felt like a stone. When I would go to church, I wouldn’t worship. I assumed it was the church. Surely something had changed. We needed new music; something fresh. But then I changed. I remembered that my position with the Lord has nothing to do with another person and everything to do with me.
I re-discovered gladness and joy by personally coming into the Lord’s presence. With the help of a prayer journal, I began my time with the Lord each day by finding things to praise God for. In her journal, Intimacy with God, Tara Furman suggests several ways to come before Him: repeating His attributes, calling out His names, and singing hymns or worship songs. My favorite is reading out loud the Psalms. Just yesterday the repairman heard Psalm 103 as he worked on my wood floor. This is a great Psalm about praising God.
Opening my day with praises to my King has transformed my heart. I no longer wait to enter into His presence when I go to church; my heart is already there. I have found that my outlook through the day is different. Like the oil from the peppers, the burning effect of His presence is felt on my heart many hours after the exposure.
Lord, help me to remember that it is worth the time and effort to come to You. Sometimes I let the busyness of the day or the fact that I am tired keep me from You. Help me, Jesus, to make time for You each and every day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Intimacy with God: Your Daily Guide to Prayer (Journal)
Visit Lynn’s blog at www.HeIsThatIntoYou.com.
Talk About It:
What are your favorite hymns or worship songs? Share with us by leaving a comment below or share on our Facebook page.
Read out loud some praise psalms. Here are a few you might read: Psalm 103, 34, and 47.
Psalm 145:3, "Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom." (NIV)
© 2010 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.