“Lord, I praise you because ___________.”
Try visualizing a pie chart with this title: “How I Spend My Prayer Time.” In this chart are four different slices: Intercessory Prayer, Repentance, Listening and Praising. (Perhaps two others should also be included: Daydreaming and Dozing Off!) Now, suppose you’re pressed for time and have only ten minutes to pray. How big would you cut each slice in relation to the whole?
My spiritual director once claimed that if he had only ten minutes to spend in prayer, he would spend eight of those minutes just praising God. I thought that was unusual because it leaves only two minutes for all the other important forms of prayer. Yet, would you agree that the simple act of praising God is worthy of a large slice of your prayer life? There are several reasons to say, “Yes,” but a more straightforward reason is this: God is worthy of my praise and honor—He just is!
God is without a doubt, the kindest, most loving and forgiving Person you’ve ever known. He listens carefully to your prayers. Pours out blessings and gifts, especially the Holy Spirit, into your life. God keeps no embittered record of the wrongs you’ve committed against Him. Instead, He treasures you and honors your desires to do good.
At the same time, this kind and loving Person is also the majestic Creator of all that is. Think about it, our own galaxy is mind-boggling in both size and complexity, yet it’s only one of billions of galaxies. That’s how awesome God is and it’s no wonder the angels and saints forever fall to their knees declaring, “Worthy are you, O Lord, to receive glory and honor…and power, for you created all things” (Rev 4:11).
If you’re looking to invite Heaven into your day, then devote a large slice of time to praising the Lord. Praise Him for His love; praise Him for his greatness. And for those times you don’t feel like doing it, make a sacrifice of praise. I often lay aside my tiredness and frustrations, and recall everything I know about Him. I also write out my own personal reasons to praise Him that no one else shares. And then I read them out to God—and even sing them to Him! Somehow, I sense God is (or will be) delighted.
In God’s Time, Fr. Carmelo