When I split up with my husband I was in a desperate situation. Knowing it was the best thing to do, I was encouraged… a little… It was still so hard! I was devastated, shattered and in turmoil; feeling alone, dejected, down, angry at times, fearful, anxious, stressed… It was like nothing I can describe. But God kept me.
Months later, at the end of my maternity leave, I returned to work. I did not drive and used to take my daughter to my mum’s which was and hour away in rush hour, and two buses. Then I would go to work. I would do the same on the way home from work. It was in the winter of 2010, which was especially bitter. I thank God that due to annual leave accrued while I was on maternity leave I did not have to go to work for a full week for the rest of my contract. It was a really difficult time trying to juggle everything. However, God really does make all things work together for the good of those that love Him (Romans 8:28). On the return journey I stopped getting the second bus. This gave me about a 15 – 20 minute walk home. I used to just talk to God and sing to Him and did not care who heard me! My little girl learned to say “hallelujah” during that time, and would sometimes try to join in with me. She was not even one year yet!
I was doing this because I was so desperate. I used to pray that God should not let me let Him go – no matter what else happened! I worshipped Him for delivering me. I praised Him for being my Provider, my Peace, my Refuge, my Help. When I felt there was nothing much to thank Him for I thanked Him for my arms and my legs, and my daughter’s arms, legs, cute nose etc. I told Him how I felt, my struggles and my fears. This kept me going. What could have been a total drag really turned out to be a wonderful time of intimacy with God. I sometimes ended up skipping home (yes, skipping!), and often got home with a huge smile on my face. I praise God!
I have since learned about the power of praise and worship. We enter into God’s gates with thanksgiving and enter His courts (inner place) with praise (Psalm 100:4). Not only are we going to God, but God is coming to us – the Bible says God inhabits (dwells and resides in) the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). When we praise we are lifted up. We are magnifying God above our circumstances. It is an act of faith to praise God during difficult times – we are deciding to focus on Him instead of our trials; to live by faith and not by fear (the opposite of faith). This greatly pleases God (Hebrews 11:6) and He honours it. He will move on our behalf and we will be comforted, strengthened and blessed by His presence.
Because of this experience which I look back on fondly, I knew that when I set up these pages I would have to give an opportunity to you to praise God publicly (and anonymously). I have deliberately put it before the Prayer Board page because it is really good to get close to God – into His inner court – with praise and thanksgiving before praying to Him (asking Him for things / telling Him our concerns). God hears us either way, but it is more intimate to make your requests known to God in close proximity to Him, rather than by shouting from over the fence (gate)… if you see what I mean! It also takes more faith to say “God, I praise You for being my Provider. You are Jehovah Jireh… Even though the bills are stacking up now that I have only one income, and these solicitors are trying to bleed me dry, I still thank You for Your provision. I give You all the glory because Your Word tells me, and I believe, that You will never leave me nor forsake me, no never”… than it does to go to God, ask Him to be your Provider and then thanking Him for it afterwards, or when you see the results you asked for.
By posting here, not only are you taking an opportunity to praise God, you are also encouraging someone else. You can praise God here in one sentence or many sentences. You can be general or specific. It is up to you. And if you feel like you would rather praise God privately, that is fine too.
I hope this page inspires you to worship God, and I really look forward to being encouraged by your praises.