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by Peter Kennedy
Series: DEVOTIONS Of Praise and Thanksgiving
Devotional - Thank You Jesus
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Nov 29, 2017
Devotional - Thank You Jesus

“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” – Psalm 9:1


Toward the beginning of 2013, a group of songwriters from Hillsong church put some days aside to spend time collaborating and seeking God for new songs. Across the three days, they had several writing sessions, each with a different combination of people. On the second day, Matty Crocker and Hannah Hobbs started a session; it was the first time the two had ever written together.

On that day, Matt and Hannah both knew they had come across something special – the song “Thank You Jesus”. The idea was sparked from a comment that Hillsong’s Creative Pastor, Cass Langton, made about how it would be great to have a “Thank You” song in church - a song themed around the message of gratitude towards God. From there we began to work on a chorus that simply said:

“Thank You Jesus, You set me free. Christ my Saviour You rescued me.”

Hannah remembers: “There was something about the simplicity of those words that we both instantly loved – thanking Him for setting us free and thanking Him for giving everything to rescue us. As Christians, it is important to call to remembrance the day of your salvation. Personally, 
I remember that day so clearly. It was the day I made a decision to follow Jesus and it changed my life forever. I want to always keep it fresh in my heart.

When we introduced this song to our church, our hope was that it would stir people’s hearts to worship God and it seemed to do just that. People stood to their feet and started singing it loud. It was overwhelming to watch people step in to the presence of God and embrace this song as their own. It is humbling to see how God can use something as simple as a song to draw people closer to Him.”


Each and every day, thank the Lord for His love toward you. Today in prayer, remember the Lord’s goodness and thank Him.


“Thank you for your promise Thank you for your favour Thank you for your love Everything you've done for me” – Hannah Hobbs and Matty Crocker


God’s Word: “Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind” – Psalm 107:8


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   


Devotional - Give Thanks To The Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Nov 28, 2017
Devotional - Give Thanks To The Lord

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.  – Psalm 107:1


Jeremy Lin is a professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association. In October 2017, his season ended due to a knee injury that required surgery. But with the bad news, he did not let it stop him from trusting God.

 In an Instagram post, he thanked those who supported him through his injury.

"THANKS for all the love!! For real I've been blown away with the support," Lin wrote. "The road to recovery starts now..."

Lin ended the post with a telling hashtag, "#doasyoumayLord."

Many present and former basketball players replied that they are praying for Jeremy’s recovery.

Top of Form

Last year, Lin dealt with multiple hamstring injuries that kept him sidelined for much of the season. He admitted to frustrations that those injuries caused, in a digital prayer email sent to his fans.

"I've had a roller coaster of emotions that have ranged from determination to discouragement to optimism to defeat to anger to confusion," he wrote. "I'm hoping to be joyful and grateful in the rehab process."


During sickness or health, continue to be grateful to our Heavenly Father. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord for He IS good.


“O what a happy soul am I, Although I cannot see. I am resolved that in this world Contented I will be. How many blessings I enjoy that other people don’t – To weep and sigh because I’m blind, I cannot, and I won’t.” – Fanny Crosby


God’s Word: “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” – Psalm 100:4


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   


Devotional - Count Your Blessings
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Nov 27, 2017
Devotional - Count Your Blessings

“Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits” – Psalm 103:2


Johnson Oatman, Jr. was born April 21, 1856 in Lumberton, New Jersey. His father was a local merchant and just happened to be the best singer in town, with a rich, powerful voice. Young Johnson could not sing as well as his father, yet he grew up wanting to make some musical contributions of his own. However, for a time he worked in the family business, but soon gave up those opportunities and began to study for the ministry. After finishing school and ministering in the Methodist Episcopal churches for a time, Johnson wondered if there was a musical gift that God had given him.

At 36, Johnson realized that he did, without question, have a musical talent after all. He could write songs for other Christians to sing. So, every year some 200 songs flowed from his pen. He eventually had written 5,000 songs and was happy that in his musical compositions he had found a way to “preach the Gospel.”

Of all the songs Johnson wrote, he seemed to claim as his own favorites, “No, Not One” and “Higher Ground.”

However, people everywhere seemed to adopt another of his very special songs, “Count Your Blessings,” written in 1897. This song of thanksgiving almost immediately it began its meteoric journey.

Gipsy Smith, a famous evangelist of the day, said of the following of the song: “Men sing it, boys whistle it and women rock their babies to sleep to it.”


We are forgetful. We need constant reminders of our Heavenly Father's grace. Today in prayer, thank the Lord every time you see a church or a chapel, remembering His grace toward you.


“Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God hath done!” – Johnson Oatman, Jr.


God’s Word: “I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. – Psalm 77:11


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   


Devotional - Thanking Others
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Nov 26, 2017
Devotional - Thanking Others

“I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.” – 2 Timothy 1:3


In 1949, John Heenan began his ministry in the city of Liverpool, England by going to Walton Jail for a preaching mission where he spent days in prison.

After the first worship service in the prison, there was a phone call. John’s mother was very ill and not expected to live. She had forbidden his brother to call with the news, for, she said, the men in prison needed her son more than she did; but the brother had disobeyed and phoned anyway.

John prayed about it. He wanted to be with his mother, but he had a sense that she was right; the prisoners did need him more than she did. So he remained at the prison. He prayed that his mother would live long enough for him to see her; and he remained to complete the mission.

The next day, word got around the prison that his mother was dying and he had been sent for but did not go.

Realizing the rumors were flying, John spoke about it before he began his sermon that day. His mother, he said, had asked that he not be told. She wanted him to remain at the prison. She herself had been praying for weeks for the success of the mission in Walton Jail.

He asked the men to join him in praying for her every night that week – that she would live until the mission was over and he could be at her side.

The day after that, as he went from cell to cell, the men assured him they were praying; and the prayers of John and the prisoners were answered. He got to be with his mother before she died. Also, scores of prisoners gave their lives to Christ; they became new men.

Nineteen years after the mission, John received a letter from one of the men who had been in Walton Jail. It was dated January 24, 1968. It said:

“I was in Walton Prison, Liverpool, many years ago when you conducted a mission there. I was deeply moved at the time when you told us how your mother before her death told you not to cancel the mission and return home because we needed you more than she did. You can be sure that we prayed hard for you at that time. My point in writing is that I wish you to know that this mission bore fruit, and I have settled down with a good job for many years now. I feel that the mission was the turning point in my life.”


Many Christians help us grow to become more like Jesus. Have you thanked them? Today in prayer, call or email a Christian that has helped you grow in your faith in Jesus.


“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” – William Arthur Ward


God’s Word: “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.” – Romans 1:8


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   


Devotional - Richly Blessed
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Nov 23, 2017
Devotional - Richly Blessed

“that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.” – Psalm 30:12


Roy Campanella was one of the first African Americans to play in the US Baseball major leagues. In a distinguished career he won the Brooklyn Dodgers Most Valued Player award many times, and in 1955 he was on the team that won the World Series.

But in January 1958 his career was cut short after a car crash left him a quadriplegic. After he was injured he spent a lot of time in the Institute of Physical medicine and Rehabilitation in New York City. One day he stopped to read a gold plaque upon one of the walls, the inscribed plaque was a poem written by a soldier who died at the Battle of Gettysburg. For Roy, who had been blessed with such athletic gifts, it resonated deeply within him:

“I asked God for strength, that I might achieve.

I was made weak, that I might learn to humbly obey…

I asked for health that I might do great things.

I was given infirmity that might do better things…

I asked for riches that I might be happy,

I was given poverty that I might be wise…

I asked for power, that I might have the praise of others.

I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God…

I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.

I was given life that I might enjoy all things…

I got nothing I asked for, but everything I had hoped for.

Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.

I am, among men, most richly blessed!”


The Lord is a gracious God blessing us in many ways. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for richly blessing you.


“The ‘Thank you’s that come from just lips God has a right to doubt. I’m trying this Thanksgiving To act my ‘Thank you’s out.” – Edith May Cummings


God’s Word: “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever.” – Psalm 136:1


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   


Devotional - A Thankful Tradition
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Nov 22, 2017
Devotional - A Thankful Tradition

“Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.” – Psalm 95:2


A version of the American Thanksgiving has extended as far as the other side of the world, to the remote Norfolk Island, off the eastern coast of Australia. Home to just over 2,000 people, Norfolk Island was a British penal colony for some time and was frequented by whalers and traders from the United States. In the late 1800s, one such trader, American Isaac Robinson, visited the island and held a traditional Thanksgiving at a local church. Robinson died soon thereafter, but the tradition has persisted among locals to this day.

Today, residents celebrate Thanksgiving with a feast that is slightly different from the traditional feast, with pork and chicken and bananas, although there is pumpkin pie. Rather than on the fourth Thursday in November, Norfolk Island celebrates Thanksgiving on the last Wednesday of the month.


No matter what your tradition has been, have a habit to be thankful to the Lord. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for this day and His blessings. Seek to please Him in all that you do.


“He who seeketh to retain the favour of God, let him be thankful for the favour which is given, and patient in respect of that which is taken away.  Let him pray that it may return; let him be wary and humble that he lose it not.” – Thomas a Kempis


God’s Word: “From them will come songs of thanksgiving and the sound of rejoicing. I will add to their numbers, and they will not be decreased. I will bring them honor, and they will not be disdained.” – Jeremiah 30:19


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   


Devotional - 365 Gratitude
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Nov 21, 2017
Devotional - 365 Gratitude

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” – Psalm 100:4


In 2008 a young Australian woman, Hailey Bartholomew, found that she wasn’t enjoying life. She described herself as feeling lost and stuck on a treadmill. It was almost inexplicable. She was married to a man she loved and had beautiful children who held her heart. So why was she feeling so down about her life? Hailey sought the counsel of a nun, who advised her to spend time each day reflecting on something for which she was grateful. Hailey began a project called “365grateful”. Every day she took a photograph of something for which she was grateful.

It changed her life, for it allowed her to see things she had never noticed. Hailey had always thought of her husband as unromantic. One day she took a picture of him serving up dinner, the thing that she was grateful for that day. She noticed for the first time that the largest portion of pie was placed on her plate. She realized that the largest portion was always placed on her plate and that this was one small but profound way her husband showed his care for her. Hailey had found mothering a “boring job”, but as she took photos of her children holding out their hands to her, playing and exploring, she discovered how much joy and wonder there was in her world. Through the art of gratitude Hailey found herself lifted out of her rut and celebrating life.


When you are thankful, you grow into the person God desires for you to be. Today in prayer, give thanks throughout the day and you will grow in joy.


“Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.” – Henry Ward Beecher


God’s Word: “I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the Lord.” – Psalm 116:17


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   


Devotional - Come, Ye Thankful People, Come
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Nov 20, 2017
Devotional - Come, Ye Thankful People, Come

“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.” — 2 Corinthians 4:15


Henry Alford was born in London in 1810, born into a long line of Anglican clergymen. He was a versatile man: an artist, an organist and singer, composer of verses and a very talented speaker. His literary ability was climaxed with the completion of The Greek Testament, a commentary of four volumes, which required 20 years of hard labor.

Henry’s first ministry, after graduation from Trinity College, Cambridge, was in Wymeswold, Leicestershire. It was a small village with only a few hundred people. 

Henry loved to mingle with the workingman.

In the fall of 1844, while he was at Wymeswold, the people of this hamlet decided to have a festival, rejoicing in the abundant harvest already gathered into their barns.

For this particular occasion Alford wrote the hymn “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come”.

In this hymn, Alford used traditional language and imagery of the rural community to lend words of thankfulness for God’s provision.  

It is a hymn that has been sung, innumerable times during Thanksgiving celebrations.


God has blessed us everyday throughout each day. Today in prayer, as Thanksgiving Day draws near, thank the Lord for richly providing His blessings to you.


“Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home; all is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin. God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied; come to God's own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home.” – Henry Alford


God’s Word: “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” – 2 Corinthians 9:11


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   


Devotional - Thank God For The Heights Of Success
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Nov 19, 2017
Devotional - Thank God For The Heights Of Success

“He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights.” – Psalm 18:33


Though rock climbing has been done for centuries, the sport of rock climbing began in the last quarter of the nineteenth century in various parts of Europe. Rock climbing evolved gradually from an alpine necessity to a distinct athletic activity.

One of the most daring variation of rock climbing is called free soloing, or "soloing." Soloing is a single-person climbing without the use of any rope or protection system whatsoever. If a fall occurs and the climber is not over water, as in the case of deep water soloing, the climber is likely to be killed or seriously injured.

In 2008, renowned rock climber Alex Honnold soloed the northwest face of Yosemite’s Half Dome. Half Dome is a nearly vertical 2000-foot sheer granite wall. 

But around 1,800 feet, there is a curious part of the rock formation that is affectionately known as “Thank God Ledge.”

“Thank God Ledge”, is the only way to get beyond the Visor, a massive roof that looms over the Regular Northwest Face route. The ledge is only 35 long and 1 foot wide. Most people crawl, said Alex, but he prefers to walk it, face out, since that's "cooler." The 30 seconds it takes to get across requires absolutely no technical climbing skill, but even Honnold admits it's sobering to look at 1,800 feet of air. 

It is a time to thank God for the strength to make it there, thank God for the rest and thank God for the safety He has proved.


Through the grace of God, He brings us to high places in our lives. Today in prayer, thank God for the high ledges He has brought you and trust Him with all of your life.


“Faith is putting all your eggs in God’s basket, then counting your blessings before they hatch.” – Ramona C. Carroll


God’s Word: “The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.” - Habakkuk 3:19


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail


Devotional - Give Thanks For Your Salvation
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Nov 16, 2017
Devotional - Give Thanks For Your Salvation

“Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.” – 1 Chronicles 16:8


Just after the American Civil War, Billy Sunday was one of the early professional baseball players.

In 1886, he became a Christian and a few years later, left baseball for Christian ministry. He gradually developed his skills as a pulpit evangelist in the Midwest and then, during the early 20th century, he became the nation's most famous evangelist with his folksy sermons and enthusiastic delivery. Sunday held widely reported campaigns in America's largest cities, and he attracted the largest crowds of any evangelist before the advent of electronic sound systems.

In the early 1900s, a policeman was walking his beat in Chicago when he observed a man standing before the Pacific Garden Mission. The man had removed his hat, and the officer thought he was acting rather strangely. Thinking the man might be drunk or ill, the policeman approached him. He noticed that his eyes were closed, so he nudged him and said, "What's the matter, Mac? Are you sick?" The man looked up and smiled. "No, sir. My name is Billy Sunday I was converted right here in this mission. I never pass this way without taking the opportunity, if possible, to stand quietly for a moment and whisper a prayer of thanksgiving."


Do you remember when you became a Christian? Today in prayer, pause and give thanks to the Christ for giving you new life in Him.


“Thanksgiving means giving thanks to the one true God.” – Charles Colson


God’s Word: “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” – 1 Chronicles 16:34


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   


Devotional - We Praise Thy, O God, Our Redeemer
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Nov 15, 2017
Devotional - We Praise Thy, O God, Our Redeemer

“Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.”- Psalm 103:1


In 1902, J. Archer Gibson, an American organist and arranger, asked Julia Cady to write new lyrics for an Austrian melody. Gibson was organist at the Brick Presbyterian Church in New York City, which Julia’s family attended.

Julia was the daughter of a prominent New York architect, J. Cleveland Cady. Her father was also a Sunday school superintendent and amateur hymnologist. Partly because of his influence Julia began to write hymns at an early age. 

After struggling for two weeks, the 20-year-old Julia produced three stanzas of “We praise Thee, O God, our Redeemer”. The first public performance of her hymn was at the Brick Presbyterian Church the next Thanksgiving Day.

A month later, the Julia’s father wished to use the hymn for a service on December 25 at the Church of the Covenant, also in New York City, so he asked his daughter to add a fourth stanza.

The hymn appeared in “Hymns of the Living Church” in 1910.


We were created to worship and praise our Redeemer and Creator. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for all that He is.


“We praise Thee, O God, our Redeemer, Creator, In grateful devotion our tribute we bring; We lay it before Thee, we kneel and adore Thee, We bless Thy holy Name, glad praises we sing.” – Julia Cady


God’s Word: “Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will. Praise the Lord, all his works everywhere in his dominion.” - Psalm 103:20-22


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail


Devotional - In Your Joy, Remember To Praise God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Nov 14, 2017
Devotional - In Your Joy, Remember To Praise God

“Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.”- Psalm 47:1


In 2012, a Sudanese woman showed up in Forth Worth, Texas, pregnant and with her two small children. Her husband couldn’t make the trip, unable to leave the refugee camp because the couple had lost their marriage papers while fleeing the war in their country. They had to find a way to prove they were married and that the children were indeed his. The man, Dyan, feared he would never see his family again.

Two women from The Village Church in Fort Worth cared for Alik and her three children. Though Alik could occasionally talk to Dyan by phone, he was stuck in the refugee camp in Egypt.

Then in November 2016, four long years after the couple had been separated, Dyan finally resolved the issue and was cleared for travel to America and see his wife and children – including meeting his now three-year-old for the first time.

As Dyan’s plane comes to a stop, his family pressed their faces on the windows straining to see him. Tears. It’s him! Tap the window, wave; he sees them; he sees her. He stops, but only for a second. He’s got to get through that frosted glass door.

The boys dash past the security attendant and tackle their dad as he comes through the door. Dyan embraces Alik and is overcome with joy. Then suddenly he lets go. Dyan falls to his knees. He bows his head and then lifts his hands and looks up. His lips giving thanks to God for the grace of this moment he was afraid to hope for.

Dyan is reunited with his family.


No matter how you praise and worship God, it should result in an awe of God's power, love, and grace! Today in prayer, praise the Lord for His great love for you.


“God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” – John Piper

God’s Word: “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.”- Psalm 95:1-2


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail


Devotional - Ever Be
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Nov 13, 2017
Devotional - Ever Be

“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.” – Hebrews 13:15


In 2015, Kalley Heiligenthal wrote the praise song “Ever Be.” She remembers:

“The chorus of this song came first. I was in a prayer room setting for a two-hour time frame, and after about an hour and a half we ran out of songs. I thought in that moment about finding a hook that was repeatable, and that's where the chorus came from. The bridge came with relative ease. The verses are where you'll find a lot of personal diving into my heart to set the stage for the rest of the song. The beautiful aspect of this song is that I was being coached on how to write the verses based on the question why to the statement ‘Your praise will ever be on my lips.’ For me, it was a beautiful process of learning what the answers were. Most of us have many examples of God's faithfulness, His character, His nature and goodness to draw from. For me, it is highly emotional and very deep, but I didn't know how to put it into words and express it. The journey of writing the song was teasing it out and finding out what was inside of me, which involved me creating my story in the song.”


Your story needs to be a song of praise to our wonderful Lord! Today in prayer, stop throughout the day and praise Jesus.


“Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips” - Kalley Heiligenthal


God’s Word: “Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise.” – Psalm 51:15


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   


Devotional - Praise Him At All Times
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Nov 12, 2017
Devotional - Praise Him At All Times

“I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding.” – Psalm 119:32


English Gardner is an American track and field sprinter who specializes in the 100-meter dash.

In 2016, while preparing for the summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, English finished the 100-meter qualifying race with one of the fastest times for an American woman.

Immediately, she dropped to her knees, praising Jesus and thanking him for her victory. One sports commentator called it “one of the greatest races you’ll ever see.” Not bad for an athlete who in high school tore her ligaments in her right knee and lost all of her athletic scholarships from every college with the exception of the University of Oregon.

Commenting on her exceptional qualifying race, English said she ran with a plan to praise God. “I went in [the Olympic trials] knowing that if there was a great moment to happen…that I wouldn’t waste that moment at all, that I wouldn’t be ashamed of giving him glory, that I wouldn’t be ashamed of calling on his name.”


In all that you do, give Jesus the glory. Today in prayer, dedicate your day to Christ and give Him the glory throughout the day.


“Jesus is moved to happiness every time He sees that you appreciate what He has done for you.” – Ole Hallesby


God’s Word: “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.” – Psalm 34:1


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   


Devotional - You Are Good
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Nov 9, 2017
Devotional - You Are Good

“For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” – Psalm 100:5


Born to an unwed teenage mother whose parents had urged her to have an abortion, Israel Houghton could easily have become a statistic, but for the goodness of God. Eight months into her pregnancy and abandoned by her family, Israel's mother met Jesus on a street corner in Oceanside, California when a stranger walked up to her and shared the Gospel. That "chance" encounter radically changed his mother's life and his own.

Israel said: “When you read Psalm 139, it throws out all the ‘I’m here accidentally’ stuff that I believed for so long. I felt like an accident. I felt like a mistake. But when you understand, ‘I’m fearfully and wonderfully made; I’m skillfully crafted; how precious are your thoughts toward me; how marvelous are your works,’ when you start considering all that and going, Ok, I didn’t just sneak into the earth, I was created for something great, the more I dwell on that, the more I meditate on that, the more I share that with people who want to hear it, the better I feel about why I’m here.”

Israel is a worship leader at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas.

When Israel penned "You Are Good", drawing from Psalm 100, he did so from a very personal place. He knows the radical goodness, love and mercy of God.


God is good and worthy of our worship. Today in prayer, worship the Lord, seek Him with your whole heart, and realize He is good.


“We worship you for who you are And You are Good.” – Israel Houghton


God’s Word: “Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” – Psalm 100:2


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   


Devotional - Thank Him In The Night
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Nov 8, 2017
Devotional - Thank Him In The Night

“But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night” – Job 35:10


In February 2012, tornados caused destruction in five states: Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. One tornado bored down on West Liberty, Kentucky, a small farming town in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The Reverend Kenneth Jett of the West Liberty United Methodist Church learned about the approaching storm when he returned to the parsonage from an hour-long trip out of the city. Having seen a warning on the television, the pastor yelled to his wife that they needed to take shelter in the basement of the church next door. Two church members who were cleaning the church and a neighbor joined them. As they ran for the basement stairs, they could see the funnel cloud approaching.

“I just heard this terrific noise,” Pastor Ken’s wife Jeanene recalled. “The windows were blowing out as I came down the stairs.” The building collapsed, but they were able to get out through a basement door. They sustained only minor injuries.

“We're thankful to God,” Pastor Ken said. “It was a miracle that the five of us survived.”


During the dark times of your life, praise the Lord. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that He brings light to our souls as we praise Him.


“Praise the one who breaks the darkness with a liberating light.” – Rusty Edwards


God’s Word: “I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.” – Psalm 13:6


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   


Devotional - Praise His Wisdom
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Nov 7, 2017
Devotional - Praise His Wisdom

“and said: “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his.” – Daniel 2:20


Pastor Bob Deffinbaugh wrote the following about God’s wisdom and praise: “God’s eternal purpose is to reveal His wisdom to the celestial beings as well as to His church. God is still accomplishing His purpose, which will culminate in the second coming of His Son and the establishment of His kingdom upon the earth. When this purpose and program is completed, the full scope of God’s wisdom will have been revealed, and this wisdom will be revealed as so great it will provide the fuel for the praise of God throughout all eternity.

Is it any wonder the basis for every creature’s (earthly and heavenly) eternal praise may be worthy of thousands of years to establish? No wonder God is taking His time in revealing and bringing to completion His marvelous plan decreed in eternity past, which in its culmination discloses His infinite wisdom.”


Praise the Lord for His wisdom. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that the Gospel is moving throughout the entire earth.


“With the goodness of God to desire our highest welfare, the wisdom of God to plan it, and the power of God to achieve it, what do we lack? Surely we are the most favored of all creatures.” – A.W. Tozer


God’s Word: “Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and forevermore.” – Psalm 113:2


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   


Devotional - When Morning Gilds The Skies
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Nov 6, 2017
Devotional - When Morning Gilds The Skies

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” – 1 Peter 1:3 


The praise hymn “When Morning Gilds the Skies” was originally written in German. The author is anonymous, but it appeared in a German hymnal in 1828.

In 1854, Edward Caswall, an Anglican clergyman and hymn writer who converted to Roman Catholicism, translated the work into English. He improved upon the translation four years later.

There is a powerful interrelationship between the text and the melody in this hymn. Usually thought of as a morning hymn of praise, the rising melody complements the rising sun that “gilds the skies” of the early morning. Within two phrases the notes soar an octave above the starting pitch—voices ascend with the rising sun about which they are singing. The melody ends on an unusually high note for hymns, proclaiming the text, “May Jesus Christ be praised!” These five words form a brief refrain that captures the intent of the entire hymn. 


May Jesus Christ be praised during your day! Today in prayer, let your praise for Jesus grow throughout the day.


“When morning gilds the skies my heart awakening cries: May Jesus Christ be praised! Alike at work and prayer, to Jesus I repair: May Jesus Christ be praised!” – Edward Caswall


God’s Word: “For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written: ‘Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing the praises of your name.’ Again, it says, ‘Rejoice, you Gentiles, with his people.’” – Romans 15:8-10


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   


Devotional - Praise Him For Our Freedom
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Nov 5, 2017
Devotional - Praise Him For Our Freedom

“Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.” – Psalm 142:7


In June 2017, Marilyn, a teenage Christian girl in Egypt, was kidnapped just outside Cairo by Islamic extremists. Her family feared she would be married or sold off as a slave.

After her abduction, videos surfaced around the web in which Marilyn could be seen holding a Quran and saying she had converted to Islam. However, her mother Hanaa Aziz Shukralla Faraq, believed her daughter only made the statements under duress and her conversion was not genuine.

In October 2017, Police were able to track down the kidnappers and arrest them.

Marilyn is back with her family, who are thanking God for answers to their prayers.

“We thank God for answering our prayers and the prayers of many other people,” said local priest, Father Boutros Khalaf, who is ministering to the family.


Freedom can be found anywhere, at anytime, when we meet the person of Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that in Him we have freedom.


“Praising God is one of the highest and purest acts of religion. In prayer we act like men; in praise we act like angels.” – Thomas Watson


God’s Word: “Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” – Psalm 106:1


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   


Devotional - 10,000 Reasons
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Nov 2, 2017
Devotional - 10,000 Reasons

“Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.” – Psalm 103:1


In 2011, while preparing to record his latest album, Matt Redman and friend, Jonas Myrin, began working on a song. Matt remembers how the song “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)” came together in one hour: “He played me an idea for some of the chorus melody, and I found it immediately inspiring. In fact, it felt like a perfect fit for a song based on the opening of Psalm 103. The song came together really quickly - a good chunk of the song was actually a spontaneous moment. I have no idea why some songs take months of writing and re-writing (like 'Blessed Be Your Name') and others arrive really swiftly (like this one). One thing I've realized over the years is there's no distinct rule that says that something composed quickly must therefore be more spiritual or inspired! Yes, God-breathed inspired worship songs can at times be written very quickly and spontaneously—but at other times they've involved a lot of perseverance, perspiration, and hard work!”


No matter where you find yourself today, there are thousands of reasons to praise the Lord. Today in prayer, praise the Lord with all of your soul.


“Bless the Lord Oh my soul, oh my soul Worship His holy name Sing like never before Oh my soul I’ll worship Your holy name.” – Matt Redmond


God’s Word: “Praise the Lord, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the Lord, my soul.” – Psalm 103:22


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   


Devotional - Praising Others
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Nov 1, 2017
Devotional - Praising Others

“Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips.” – Proverbs 27:2


Mark McGwire is a former American professional baseball player. In 1987, as a rookie, he hit 49 home runs; at that time it was a record for first year players. He finished his career in 2001 with 583 home runs.  

In 2017, New York Yankee rookie Aaron Judge broke Mark’s 30 year rookie home run record.

Mark praised Aaron for his impressive rookie season and said he’s “truly happy” for Judge for breaking his record.

“I’m a fan. I’m a fan of his game. I’m a fan of his,” Mark said. “I was watching from day one. I mean, they’re monstrous home runs. His BPs (batting practices) are going to be legendary. He’s only 25 years old. Who knows what the number is going to be at by the time he’s done with how many home runs he’s going to hit?”


We were meant to praise others, and the One Person most deserving of our praise is Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, spend time just praising Christ for all that He has done for you.


“Usually we praise only to be praised.” – François La Rochefoucauld


God’s Word: “Praise the LORD. Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD.” – Psalm 113:1


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail   


Devotional - The Sin Of Ingratitude
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Oct 31, 2017
Devotional - The Sin Of Ingratitude

"For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened." - Romans 1:21


In September 2013, Roy Ortiz’s silver Pontiac plunged into the floodwaters of Rock Creek in Broomfield, Colorado.

Somehow Roy lived as raging water gushed through his crumpled, overturned sedan by inching his way to the back seat and fitting his head into a small air pocket. He called his wife. He called 911. He prayed to God. It seemed like two hours passed, Ortiz would later claim, before rescuers splashed up to his car in a rubber raft to find him tapping on the window and yelling for help.

Once at Good Samaritan Medical Center, he was treated for hypothermia and other ailments.

Then, in front of cameras at a press conference at the medical center, Ortiz recounted the ordeal. He was deeply thankful and emotional.

“I love everybody,” Ortiz said. 

He even hugged John Cook, a rescuer with the North Metro Fire Rescue District, who had risked his life to rescue Roy. It was the happy ending everyone seemed to want.

But as the days went by, Roy’s gratitude waned. In March 2014, he sued the first responders who rescued him for $500,000. Though there were many emergencies occurring because of the floods, and many cars floating in the flooded Rock Creek, Ortiz blamed the first responders for not getting to him sooner.


We need to be grateful for everything the Lord has given us. Today in prayer, confess any sin of ingratitude and be thankful to the Lord.


“Ingratitude is always a kind of weakness. I have never seen that clever men have been ungrateful.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


God's Word: "People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy" - 2 Timothy 3:2


By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2017, Devotional E-Mail


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