Prayer Begins With…Thanksgiving and Praise
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.” Psalm 100:4
Thank God for what He has done for you – for answers to prayer, for forgiving your sins, for coming in to your life, for making you His child. We can thank Him both for blessings seen and those as yet unseen. It is a key to faith, and it is natural and right that we give thanks always to the One from whom all good things come (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Thank God for the results of prayer, both before and after you see the results (Philippians 4:6-7). Pray with thanksgiving. Thanksgiving expresses your confidence that God has heard and answered your prayer even before you see the result.
To praise God is to tell Him how great He is. This is declaring good things about God, both about His character (who He is) and also His actions. To say “God is good” is to praise God, and it is good to use the Word of God to praise Him. This is not a form of flattery in order to get God to give you things, but it is only fitting to praise Him and to Honor Him in reverence. Thanking and praising God will increase your faith, since you will begin to fix your eyes on God, His goodness and faithfulness and greatness and power, and not on your problem.
There are many styles of praise. Some are noisy and exuberant; others are calm. Praise can be well-expressed through music, singing, words, shouting, clapping, dancing, and giving to God. It can also be expressed in quiet surrender. It is truly a matter of the heart – an expression of authentic love and adoration for the Almighty. Regardless of your style of praise, just remember to P.R.A.Y. – Praise, Repent, Ask and Yield and then watch God work in you and the situation you are praying in to.