Secrets to a Thankful Heart: The Power of Praise!
by Marilynn Chadwick Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV). The Bible actually speaks more about praise than it does prayer. I call it the “protein of prayer.” Protein comes from a Greek word meaning “of first importance.” And to me, thanksgiving is like “praise in detail.” I am more of a pragmatist than mystic. I can’t tell you why praise lifts my spirits and sometimes turns situations around faster than endless amounts of asking. It just does. Praise is like a one-two punch to the solar plexus of the enemy. Praise prompts breakthroughs in my prayers. Willie Myrick is one of my heroes. Nearly a decade ago, the then ten-year-old boy was the victim of a crime that became international news. Willie was kidnapped from his home in Atlanta by a knife-wielding assailant. His kidnapper placed a ten-dollar bill as “bait” at the foot of a tree near Willie’s driveway. When the curious youngster reached down to pick it up, the man came from behind the tree, forced Willie into the car and began to drive. Speeding across town with the little boy in the back seat, the man spewed profanity and threats. The frightened ten-year-old decided to sing. And not just any song--Willie began to sing his favorite worship song, “Every Praise.” When Willie was later asked why he sang this particular song, he answered, "Well, because I knew that Jesus was gonna be with me and he was gonna take me through the steps of getting out!" Willie continued to sing—for three hours! Finally, his kidnapper stopped the car, still cursing and shouting threats, and shoved Willie out unharmed. Just imagine the faith of this young boy. Instead of dissolving into tears or panic, he praised and worshiped God! I’m inspired by Willie's story. When faced with the worries or fears of daily life, I'm trying to respond with praise. To use annoyances as a trigger to praise God instead of complaining. It’s amazing how quickly my mental climate changes when I begin giving thanks. And when it doesn’t lift right away, I remind myself that Willie kept singing his simple praise song for three hours! "Rejoice always," the Bible tells us. "Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). I want to refresh the habit of being thankful. I invite you to join me as we devote the next few days to thanking God in all circumstances. Thanksgiving is so powerful. Let’s take a lesson from a brave ten-year-old and become people of praise.