Chris Tomlin O Come all Ye Faithful

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Enter His Gates



Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting .
And His faithfulness to all generations.
Psalm 100:4-5
This verse struck me.  Today is the Lord's Day and I will celebrate by going to church.  In church we always enter His gates and His courts with worship and praise.  We thank Him in prayer.  But do I do that in private?  Years ago, before I got married, I sang....sang as I cleaned the house or washed the dishes.  But my husband stopped that habit of mine.  He told me to be quiet every time I so much as hummed.  I sorely regret this loss.  Now it feels strange and beyond my reach to sing at home.  Sometimes, when my dad takes me to the doctor I bring my iPod and we sing together in the car.  That is the sweetest thing in the world to me.  My family used to go for rides as a form of entertainment, back when gas was inexpensive.  And we always sang in the car....all four of us....Dad, bass, mom, alto, my brother tenor, and me soprano.  The thought of those times makes me want to cry.  The song has died on my lips...the lyrics faded from memory.  Thank you very much honey.

But what about now? Can I sing?  I honestly don't know if I am even able to sing anymore.  Asthma and asthma medications have wreaked havoc with my voice. I know this from singing in church.

Are there other ways to approach with thanksgiving and praise and to bless His Name?  I could do it verbally.   I could write Him a psalm or a poem.  And when I speak to other people, His praise and m y thanksgiving should be on my lips.  And I wonder....is just repeating "Thank you Jesus" or "Praise you Jesus" sufficient?  It certainly is not creative ....It doesn't require much of me or of anyone else.    It comes dangerously close to "vain repetitions."  But often in those times of verbal praise I find myself at a loss.  I feel like an idiot just repeating those phrases.  I need to put my brain in gear and find other, more sincere, ways to thank and bless Him.

Here is my Sunday morning canticle of praise as I draw close.

Sweet Jesus, your birthday is approaching....the time when the Father sent  us the best gift...You.
Thank you for all the prayers I have seen answered of late.  Please hear my requests and new needs and answer them with the abundant mercy that you have shown in the past.  Father, help me to find worthiness in your eyes...You alone are worthy in your own merit.  As for me, I need the blood of Jesus to make me worthy in your eyes.  Thank you Jesus for that covering...please cover my sins with that same blood. Please bring my sins to my mind that I may confess them and stand  before you cleansed inside and  out.  
Thank you Jesus for my faith family with whom I will worship later today.  Cleanse us as a congregation. Pour out on us today a knowledge of  our sins and contrition for them. Cleanse us completely of gossip, lies, greed and gluttony, avarice and covetousness.  Purify us from sexual sin and infidelity.  In this season before Christmas, help us not to be consumed with the gifts...rather may we take joy in thinking about what fate you have saved us from.  Help us to add to our heavenly treasure and take great delight in doing so.
Thank you for this country which still allows us to gather and worship.  Help us to stand in the gap of your walls and guard them with prayer and civic duty.  Forgive us as a nation.  Pour out your Spirit on this land as you have promised to do in the latter days.  Help us to guard and cherish our freedom.
Thank you for those who founded this land based on your Word.  Forgive us, God, for the filth we speak and watch.  Thank you that in you there is remission of sin.
God you are big and we are so small.  Thank you for loving these specks of humanity.
God you are gracious and forgiving.....Thank you for saving us when we deserve eternal death.
God you meet our needs....you even come to our aid with little tiny needs that you gladly meet.  
God I bless your Holy name.  Help me to keep it holy. May it never cross my lips unless it is in reference to you...not a curse...and please forgive me for the times when I have fallen in that regard.  Help us all to cherish your Name and to keep it holy and set apart. 
Help me this day, YOUR day, to hear your voice and to ponder what you say in my heart.  
Speak Lord, your servant is listening.
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