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Praise Before you Can!

"On the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the Lord, though the foundation of the Lord's temple had not yet been laid"


(Ezra 3:6 NIV)



I recently read the account of the Jews rebuilding the temple of Jerusalem, as told in Ezra 3. What leapt out was this verse from Ezra 3:6 of how the Jews began to praise God and offer burnt offerings even though the foundation of the Lord’s temple had not yet been laid. Later, in verse 10, we find the priests assemble to sing praises and thanksgiving to God once the builders had laid the foundation. Here was praise before and after victory.


To offer praise and thanksgiving before our breakthrough or achievement signals trust and gratitude. I recall a time during my first year recovering from exhaustion when God taught me the power of this principle. I had been praying that the Lord would heal me in body, mind and spirit and restore me to better health than I had before and that in so doing, not even the smoke of sickness would be on me. After a while, I felt to alter the prayer to one of praise. To say instead “thank you Lord that you have healed me body, mind and spirit to better health than I had before…”.


At the time of this prayer transition, my new form of words in no way reflected my reality - but awkward as it seemed, I persisted with this new declaration of praise and faith. What I found was a shift in my healing process, a gateway to a considerable leap forward, which soon after saw me progress from a place of recovery to a process of rebuilding. I feel sure that the transition in my prayer was pivotal to the breakthrough in my recovery - like the path laid from Ezra 3:6 to Ezra 3:10.


The other day, I felt downcast about a prayer I had prayed with enthusiasm from the dawn of September for a breakthrough I sought through the autumn and winter. I began full of faith but as autumn ebbed into winter, subtle fears peppered my thoughts until late January when I found myself afraid. I took my prayer back to God, determined for an answer - and this is what he brought to mind: "just as you listened and transformed your prayer during your season of recovery, do likewise with your current need. Start thanking me daily that I have answered".


Maybe this is a word in season for some of you today? Go ahead and, like the Jews rebuilding the Lord’s temple, praise before you can.


Copyright © Sharmila Meadows 2022


Scripture quotations taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.





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Thanks revblots for your comment! It offers a new take - that prayer and praise form the foundation. Your comment reminds me of Jesus' parable of building your house on the rock. Thanks so much - I've learnt something valuable from which I'm sure other readers will also benefit!

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I love the idea of prayer & praise being a foundation before we get started on anything. No matter how grand a building might look, it will fail if the foundations are shaky.

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Thanks revblots for your comment! It offers a new take - that prayer and praise form the foundation. Your comment reminds me of Jesus' parable of building your house on the rock. Thanks so much - I've learnt something valuable from which I'm sure other readers will also benefit!

Like

Do you ever praise before your answer comes? Or does this seem an alien concept? How might a habit of thanksgiving transform your prayer life and your situations? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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