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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: Devotions in Praise and Thanksgiving
Devotional - Let Everything That Has Breath
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Nov 29, 2012
Devotional - Let Everything That Has Breath

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.”  - Psalm 150:6

 

In the 1990’s, Scott Underwood was at a Christian men’s conference in Northern California. He was a worship leader at a new church and he looked forward to this retreat. He spent sometime with his friend John Woodhouse fishing by a lake. John brought his guitar with him, just in case the fish didn’t bite.

It was fairly quiet, so Scott picked up the guitar and began to strum a few chords and the words for the praise song “Take My Life” easily flowed from his heart. “It was just that fast,” said Scott. “And I thought, ‘Lord, surely someone has taken those thoughts and put them together in a rhymed way before.’ But I couldn’t recall having heard it.”

John, a big burly man, began crying when he heard the song. It was recorded in 1995 and soon it began touching hearts throughout the world.

 

It is impossible to have every breath be one of praise. But as long as we live, we should seek to praise Jesus. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for He is good.

 

“(So) Take my heart and form it Take my mind, transform it Take my will, conform it To Yours, to Yours, Oh Lord” – Scott Underwood

 

God’s Word: “My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.” – Psalm 145:21

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2010, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS OF PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Praise Our Deliverer
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Nov 28, 2012
Devotional - Praise Our Deliverer

“Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” – Psalm 34:3-4

 

In October 1987, Nasir Siddiki lay on his deathbed. The 34-year old Muslim businessman was diagnosed by Canada's Toronto General Hospital with the worst case of shingles in the hospital's history. He had a temperature of 107.6 degrees, only .4 degrees from death.

"I knew what was on the other side of death was fearful, but I didn't know what it was," recalls Siddiki.

In the midst of silence and fear, Siddiki remembered the numerous healing stories of the prophet Jesus. "In desperation I cried out, 'God if you're real, don't let me die.'"

When it seemed as though the night couldn't get any darker, a light entered the hospital room.

"It was the outline of a person. I couldn't see the facial features because there was so much light shining from this person," describes Siddiki. "This person spoke without opening their mouth ... He said, 'I am the God of the Christians.' and He said, 'I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.'"

Siddikik asked Christ into his heart that night. The next day his fever broke and he was healed.

Today, he is international teacher and evangelist and thankful to the Lord for his new life in Christ.

 

In times of trouble, the Lord is near. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that we are His people and He is our Deliverer.

 

"I thank God for the mountains. I thank Him for the valleys. I thank Him for all He’s brought me through. For if I never had a problem. If I had never had to worry. I’d never know what faith in God could do! Through it all, through it all. I’ve learned to trust in Jesus. I’ve learned to trust in God.” – Bill Gaither

 

God’s Word: “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death.” – Psalm 68:19-20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

 

Devotional - Only By Grace
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Nov 27, 2012
Devotional - Only By Grace

“If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you. I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” – Psalm 130:3-5

 

In the 1970’s, Gerrit Gustafson was a musician in high school, but he became a Christian in college. He dropped his music in favor of leading Bible studies and eventually became a pastor.

“One of the first places I pastored was a farming community in Colorado,” said Gerrit. “And a lot of what I knew about music just didn’t fly. God put me on this track of writing songs that connected to the hearts of ordinary people. Ever since that experience, I’ve had a real appreciation for the ‘ordinary guy.’ That’s the person I want to serve.”

In 1988, Gerrit was traveling and teaching at worship conferences. One of his friends became addicted to alcohol. For three years, Gerrit stood by his side as he helped the man launch a church and Gerrit became the worship leader.

“For three years, I heard messages on the grace of God from this grateful pastor who had been restored,” he said.

One night, he came home and sat at his piano. The thoughts of God’s grace came to mind and he began writing. He soon had written the words to the song “Only by Grace.”

He soon had it recorded and it became a favorite praise song of the church.

 

Give thanks to the Lord for His grace! Today in prayer, thank Jesus for His gift of grace and praise His name.

 

“Only by grace can we enter Only by grace can we stand Not by our human endeavor But by the blood of the Lamb” – Gerrit Gustafson

 

God’s Word: “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” – John 1:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Enter And Give Thanks
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Nov 26, 2012
Devotional - Enter And Give Thanks

"Open for me the gates of the righteous; I will enter and give thanks to the Lord.” – Psalm 118:19

 

In January 1998, former major league pitcher Dan Quisenberry was operated on to remove a brain tumor. Test results confirmed the tumor was cancerous, a Grade IV malignancy, the most severe of the four grades. In a brief press statement, the 44-year old Dan said: "I feel so blessed with all the prayers and they've been answered. I feel so peaceful and thankful. I pray that God blesses all those who have supported me with their prayers." In his suffering, Dan found a deep appreciation for life and "an incredible peace."  Dan said: "Every day I find things to be thankful for. It's really wonderful!" said Dan. "Sometimes it's just seeing a little boy on a bicycle. Sometimes it's the taste of water. It's hard to explain, but I find things to thank God for every day." Later that year, Dan lost his battle to cancer but passed through Heaven’s gates into eternal rest with the Savior.

 

We will be praising Jesus throughout all eternity, so let’s get a head start and praise Him now. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for all that He has done for you and praise Him for His infinite love.

 

“No matter what is going on in our lives, no matter how bad the circumstances may be, we are still to be thankful and give thanks. Good, bad or otherwise.” – Steve Shepherd

 

God’s Word: “I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High.” – Psalm 7:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Let Us Worship And Bow Down
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Nov 25, 2012
Devotional - Let Us Worship And Bow Down

“Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;” – Psalm 95:6

 

In the 1960’s, Dave Doherty was an evangelist who visited Seattle area high schools telling teenagers about Jesus. In the 1970’s, he was part of the Christian band “The Brethren” and played at youth conferences.

In 1974, the band broke up and the following year Dave got married. He began to drift away from the church after a series of disappointments. “During that time I questioned a lot of things. I put a lot of blame on God, and on the people in the church, and on my pastor. My wife and I never got really plugged into a new church. So for a year, we were really in the wilderness.”

In 1980, he was working as a delivery driver in New Jersey. He began to listen to a Christian broadcaster. The Word of God began to penetrate Dave’s heart and he pulled off the Jersey Turnpike, and confessed his own sin to the Lord.

Two days later, while sitting in his home, he penned the song “Come, Let Us Worship and Bow Down.”

A couple of months later, he returned to Seattle and began ministering in one of his former band member’s church. Dave played “Come, Let Us Worship and Bow Down” and it became a regular favorite in his new church home. Soon Tommy Coomes of Maranatha! Records heard the song and recorded it. It has become a favorite because it is a beautiful song of worship.

 

In this season before Christmas, remember to worship the Lord in all that you do. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is worthy of our praise!

 

“Come let us worship and bow down, Let us kneel before the Lord, Our God and Maker. For he is our God, And we are the people of his pasture, And the sheep of his hand, Just the sheep of his hand.” – Dave Doherty

 

God’s Word: “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. – Philippians 2:9-11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Giving Thanks To The Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Nov 22, 2012
Devotional - Giving Thanks To The Lord

Bible Study on Praise and Thanksgiving

Strengthen your faith in God and increase your Praise and Thanksgiving with the devotionals below. You can also sign up to receive daily devotionals in your email.


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Continue on below and begin with the most recent installment to the Praise and Thanksgiving devotional.

.

“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

 

In June 1982, Duong Vu, his pregnant wife Thanh, and their three young children, including 8-year-old Xuan-Huong, crept through the mud in the Vietnamese darkness. Duong was a former South Vietnamese Air Force pilot. The communists targeted Duong, who is a Christian, and his family for “re-education.” As they crawled through the mud, they avoided being seen and turned in by villagers who could then claim a reward. They reached the water and saw the rickety, 35-foot boat built for river fishing. They hid their fears and pushed off into the sea with 47 other refugees.

On June 10, the boat was 200 miles from land when the threat of a storm was coming. Then miraculously, the USS Morton appeared on the horizon and rescued the refugees. The families were brought to the Philippines and Duong and his wife were resettled in the United States. They became American citizens, were successful in business, but Duong always wondered about their rescuers.

Then in 2002, Duong was able to track down the Commanding Officer of the USS Morton. Commander Al Bell had retired from the Navy and was living in San Diego, California. It took 20 years to thank him for his efforts. And now a decade later, Duong and his family continue to give thanks to the Lord for all that He has done for them.

 

We need to continually remember our blessings and to praise the Lord with thankfulness of heart. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for He is good and thank Him in all circumstances.

 

“Remember God's bounty in the year. String the pearls of His favor. Hide the dark parts, except so far as they are breaking out in light! Give this one day to thanks, to joy, to gratitude!” – Henry Ward Beecher

 

God’s Word: “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe” – Hebrews 12:28

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Come Before Him With Thanksgiving
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Nov 21, 2012
Devotional - Come Before Him With Thanksgiving

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

 

In 1868, Governor John Geary of Pennsylvania made one of the most evangelical proclamations for thanksgiving. Here is part of his proclamation:

"Let us thank Him with Christian humility for health and prosperity; abundant harvests; the protection of commerce, and the advancement of scientific, mechanical, and manufacturing interests; our progress in education, morality, virtue, and social order; the increase of our material wealth; exemption from pestilence and contagious diseases and the destructive influences of war; for having blessed us as a people and a nation, and opened before us the brightest prospects for the future; and for all other blessings, both temporal and spiritual.

With sure reliance upon Divine favor let us pray for the forgiveness of sins, making public confession of our dependence, that we may continue worthy of His parental love and protecting care; that our civil and religious liberties and political rights may remain unimpaired; that we may remember in gratitude our country’s brave defenders, and cherish with sympathy their widows and orphan children; that our paths through life may be directed by the example and instructions of the Redeemer, who died that we might enjoy all the blessings which temporarily flow therefrom, and eternal life in the world to come.”

 

On this day of Thanksgiving in the United States, come before the Lord, confessing your sins, and giving Him thanks for all that He has done.

 

“Come into His presence With thanksgiving in your heart Give Him praise Give Him praise” – Lynn Baird

 

God’s Word: “Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God” – Psalm 147:7

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - I Will Call Upon The Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Nov 20, 2012
Devotional - I Will Call Upon The Lord

“I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies.” – Psalm 18:3

 

In 1975, Michael O’Shields was a young minister travelling in Oklahoma and west Texas. He was struggling to make ends meet, and it was especially tough when the contributions were pretty meager. On one 200 mile trip, he preached and received only $12 for his efforts. On his way home, the Lord moved Michael to remember Psalm 18. The words for the praise song “I Will Call Upon the Lord” began to come out of his mouth. The song became Michael’s own plea to trust the Lord in a deeper way.

In the next few years Michael would sing the song at different events, but he never recorded it. In 1983, he was watching a Texas church on television and they began singing “I Will Call Upon the Lord” just as Michael had written it!

A few months later, Michael was at a large conference of 3000 Christians and they began singing the song too. No one at the time knew Michael had written the song. From there, the song has gone around the world, bringing a new chorus of praise to Jesus!

 

No matter what circumstance you find yourself, call upon the Lord. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that He is always willing and desiring for us to call upon His name!

 

“I will call upon the Lord (I will call upon the Lord) Who is worthy to be praised (Who is worthy to be praised ) So shall I be saved from my enemies (So shall I be saved from my enemies ) (All sing together) The Lord liveth, and blessed be the Rock And let the God of my salvation be exalted The Lord liveth, and blessed be the Rock And let the God of my salvation be exalted”– Michael O’Shields

 

God’s Word: “The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!  - Psalm 18:46

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Rejoice In Today
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Nov 19, 2012
Devotional - Rejoice In Today

“This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” – Psalm 118:24

 

Robin Roberts is the anchor for the television show “Good Morning America (GMA).” In August 2012, she announced that she had rare blood disorder called myelodysplastic syndrome or MDS. She took a leave of absence and then underwent bone marrow transplants to combat the disease. She received the bone marrow from her sister Sally-Ann.

When she was released from the hospital, she said the following on Twitter: "There's no place like home. After 30 days in the hospital I'm home. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Thank YOU and bless YOU. XO"

Robin was not cured, but a major hurdle had been crossed. "My doctors tell me her cells are making themselves right at home and with the grace of God, I pray that they will continue to do so," Robin wrote about the transplant. She said the following about answered prayer. “I know it is your prayers and warm thoughts that have gotten me this far.  I truly feel them each and every day,” she said. “I humbly ask that you please continue to send them until you see me back at the GMA anchor desk and I promise to send them right back at ya.” 

 

The Lord continually gives us a special gift that we call “today”. Today in prayer, praise Jesus for the wonderful gift of life and to be able to praise Him today.

 

“This is the day, this is the day, that our God has made, that our God has made. We will rejoice we will rejoice, and be glad in it, and be glad in it. This is the day that our God has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. This is the day, this is the day, that our God has made.” – Les Garrett

 

God’s Word: “But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation always say, ‘Let God be exalted!’” – Psalm 70:4

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Draw Me Close
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Nov 18, 2012
Devotional - Draw Me Close

“let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” – Hebrews 10:22

 

In January 1994, Kelly Carpenter was busy doing things serving God, when he began feeling the Lord wanted more of him. Kelly was a worship leader at his church. He just finished a church service, but his heart was not quite in it. "My heart was heavy that day because I had come to the realization that I had put my ministry in front of my relationship with the Lord. So I literally cried out to Him, "I lay it all down again to hear You say that I'm Your friend."  Within 20 minutes he had written the praise song “Draw Me Close.” Kelly said that "the song just spilled out."

"This song has always been intensely personal for me," Kelly adds, "and continues to bring me back to my knees, that my relationship with God should come first before the call, the vision, and the ministry that He has given me."

Kelly said brokenness, as he's come to understand it, is a universal experience throughout life. "The song connects with anyone who is going through brokenness." He continues, even years down the road to hear from people who've been impacted by the song.

 

Let nothing come between you and Jesus. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is a personal God who loves you intimately.

 

“Draw me close to you Never let me go I lay it all down again To hear you say that I’m your friend” – Kelly Carpenter

 

God’s Word: “(for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.” – Hebrews 7:19

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - The Battle Belongs To The Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Nov 15, 2012
Devotional - The Battle Belongs To The Lord

“He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” – 2 Chronicles 20:15

 

In the early 1980’s, Jamie Owens-Collins, daughter of Jimmy and Carol Owens, was driving to church. She was meditating on 2 Chronicles 20 when the simple words of the song "The Battle Belongs to the Lord" came out of her mouth. She completed the entire song on the drive to church singing it a cappella.

“The Lord has put us in a position to invite His lordship into the earth,” said Jamie. “He just won’t step in and do it very often. He waits for our invitation. When we lift up the name of the Lord and we invite Him to rule in a situation, then He can come in and do His thing.”

Five years after Jamie wrote “The Battle Belongs to the Lord” she began suffering from clinical depression. For four years she battled depression and continued to praise the Lord. He finally delivered Jamie from her from the storm. “I had to walk through some real darkness. But even when I walked through the dark places, I still knew that the Lord hadn’t changed, and that He was still worthy of worship and my praise,” said Jamie.

 

No matter what struggle you face today, know that the battle is the Lord’s and give the struggle to Jesus. Today in prayer, thank Jesus that He can do immeasurably more than we can ask and give Him the battles of your life.

 

“In heavenly armor we'll enter the land The battle belongs to the Lord No weapon that's fashioned against us will stand The battle belongs to the Lord And we sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord, And we sing glory, honor, power and strength to the Lord” – Jamie Owens-Collins

 

God’s Word: ““After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: ‘Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.’ As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.” – 2 Chronicles 20:21-22

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Praise Him For Freedom
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Nov 14, 2012
Devotional - Praise Him For Freedom

"The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God, the Rock, my Savior! He is the God who avenges me, who puts the nations under me, who sets me free from my enemies. You exalted me above my foes; from violent men you rescued me.” – 2 Samuel 22:47-49

 

On October 13, 2009, Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was arrested in Iran after protesting the government's decision to force all children, including his own Christian children, to read the Quran.

On September 8, 2012, Pastor Nadarkhani was released from prison and wrote an open letter of praise, which began:

“Salaam! (Peace be upon you!)

I glorify and give grace to the Lord with all my heart. I am grateful for all the blessings that He gave me during my whole life. I am especially grateful for His goodness and divine protection that characterized the time of my detention.

I also want to express my gratitude towards those who, all around the world, have worked for my cause, or should I say the cause that I defend. I want to express my gratitude to all of those who have supported me, openly or in complete secrecy. You are all very dear to my heart. May the Lord bless you and give you His perfect and sovereign grace.

Indeed I have been put to the test, the test of faith which is, according to the Scriptures “more precious than perishable gold.” But I have never felt loneliness, I was all the time aware of the fact that it wasn’t a solitary battle, for I have felt all the energy and support of those who obeyed their conscience and fought for the promotion of the justice and the rights of all human beings. Thanks to these efforts, I have now the enormous joy to be by my wonderful wife and my children. I am grateful for these people through whom God has been working. All of this is very encouraging”

 

We need to continually praise and thank the Lord for our freedom. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that He is Lord of all and in Him we are free.

 

“In their cry for freedom, it may be said, the voice of the people is the voice of God.” – Grover Cleveland

 

God’s Word: “The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him.” – Exodus 15:2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

 

Devotional - Freely Praise The Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Nov 13, 2012
Devotional - Freely Praise The Lord

“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.” – Matthew 10:8

 

Jimmy and Carol Owens became involved in Christian music their pastor in Oakland, California asked Jimmy to lead the choir temporarily. Jimmy did not have any vocal training and his background was trumpet with both symphonic music and jazz. Soon after that they moved to Southern California and began a Contemporary Christian Band.

They eventually moved to Jack Hayford’s church and have worked and influenced many Christian musical artists such as Randy Stonehill, Andrae Crouch, Annie Herring, Matthew Ward, Larnelle Harris, and Barry McGuire.

In 1973, they wrote their first major musical entitled “Come Together.” One of the songs in the musical is the song “Freely, Freely.”

The praise song was inspired from Matthew 10:8 were Jesus encourages his disciples to freely give to others as they have freely received from their Heavenly Father.

 

Just as you have freely received from your Heavenly Father, praise Him and freely give to others. Today in prayer, freely praise the Lord for he is worthy of our praise.

 

“He said 'Freely, freely you have received;, freely, freely give. Go in my name, and because you believe others will know that I live.” – Carol Owens

 

God’s Word: “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” – 2 Corinthians 3:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - Let The Nations Hear Your Praise
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Nov 12, 2012
Devotional - Let The Nations Hear Your Praise

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

 

At the 2012 London Olympics, Gabby Douglas was the first African-American woman to ever win the gold medal in the Women's Gymnastics All-Around event.

Following her emotional win, the 16-year-old gave an interview with NBC and celebrated the moment by praising God and offering her thanks for an amazing blessing.

"It is everything I thought it would be; being the Olympic champion, it definitely is an amazing feeling.

And I give all the glory to God. It's kind of a win-win situation. The glory goes up to Him and the blessings fall down on me," Gabby exclaimed.

Gabby continued to praise the Lord when she entered the following on her Twitter account: "Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things He does for me."

Douglas also stated on her Twitter account that she loves "my family, dogs & most importantly God :)"

 

Do not be afraid to give praise to the Lord. Today in prayer, praise Jesus and share His love with others. 

 

“The climax of God's happiness is the delight He takes in the echoes of His excellence in the praises of His people.” – John Piper

 

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

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

 

Devotional - Holy Holy
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Nov 12, 2012
Devotional - Holy Holy

“Let them praise your great and awesome name--he is holy.” – Psalm 99:3

 

Jimmy and Carol Owens are among the pioneers of Contemporary Christian Music and the modern worship movement. They are Grammy and Dove nominated composers of some 250 published and recorded songs, including 12 musicals.

In 1972, the couple was writing their award-winning musical “Come Together.” It was their first musical they composed for a large arena. It’s said that the musical’s influence helped transform contemporary worship, and indeed the song “Holy Holy” was one of its key songs.

Jimmy says the idea for “Holy Holy” was mainly to create something that could be easily learned and sung by a church immediately. He wanted a song that was so simple a child could sing it and relate to God. 

He accomplished that goal when the song was favorably received and today the song “Holy Holy” is in many hymnals.

 

Let the start of each day, the start of each week begin in a simple praise to our Heavenly Father. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for He is Holy.

 

“Holy Holy, Holy Holy, Holy Holy, Lord God Almighty;

And we lift our hearts before You as a token of our love,

Holy Holy, Holy Holy. – Jimmy Owens

 

God’s Word: “Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises.” – Psalm 22:3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

Devotional - More Precious Than Silver
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Nov 8, 2012
Devotional - More Precious Than Silver

“My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” – Colossians 2:2-3

 

In 1978, Lynn DeShazo graduated from Auburn University. She wanted to stay connected to the campus ministry, so she took a job at the local McDonalds. She was growing in her faith, learning how to write praise songs, have morning devotionals, and to fast. On one of her fast days, Lynn was working and had to make French fries. The smell of the fries became so intense that she broke her fast and ate some of the fries. Immediately she felt guilt and after her shift she sought the Lord in the Bible. She began reading Colossians 2:3 where it says that in Christ is “hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”. She also read in Proverbs 8:1 that “wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.”

Lynn said: “In my spirit, I believe God linked those things together, and I began to worship the Lord and singing.” The resulting song was “More Precious Than Silver.” She sang it first at her church, and it gradually became more popular until it was recorded in 1986.

 

We have a God and Savior that is far more precious than gold, silver, and jewels. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that in Him is all our treasure and riches.

 

“Lord, You Are More Precious Than Silver Lord, You Are More Costly Than Gold Lord, You Are More Beautiful Than Diamonds And Nothing I Desire Compares With You” – Lynn DeShazo

 

God’s Word: “Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.– Proverbs 8:10-11

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

 

Devotional - Desiring God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Nov 7, 2012
Devotional - Desiring God

"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.  – Psalm 42:1

 

Jason Hershey is on staff with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in Washington D.C. In early 2012, he felt the Lord drawing him to pray for America in a new way. “We, as a nation, are in deep crisis,” said Jason. “We are, after all, seated with Christ in Heavenly places. This is what began my journey to eventually pursue getting a permit to host David's Tent DC.”

David’s Tent DC was a 41 day, 1000 continuous hours of prayer. It was held from September 25 until Election Night, November 6. The event was held at the park across from the White House, known as the White House Ellipse.

“We've had all 50 states and dozens of foreign nations represented at the tent. 166 worship teams from all over America and even around the world have participated in leading worship from the stage.”

In a letter, Jason shared his vision for the future: “My heart's prayer is that one day, America will have a "congress of worship and prayer" assembled in Washington, DC, whose light will never go out, day or night, 24/7/365.”

 

We need to desire the Lord with all of our heart, to seek Him in prayer, and to worship Him. Today in prayer, confess any distractions that keep you away from the love of Jesus and desire Jesus with all of your heart.

 

“You alone are my strength my shield

To You alone may my spirit yield

You alone are my heart's desire

And I long to worship Thee” – Martin Nystrom

 

God’s Word: “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?”  – Psalm 42:2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

 

Devotional - Mourning Into Dancing
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Nov 6, 2012
Devotional - Mourning Into Dancing

“You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.” – Psalm 30:11-12

 

In 1991, Tommy Walker was the worship leader at Christian Assembly in Los Angeles. “I began a quest,” said Tommy “to write songs that would be very worshipful to believers while musically and spiritually interesting to non-believers.”

He was reading Psalm 30 and he was intrigued by the phrase turning mourning into dancing. However, the song was hard coming. He thought about Latin dancing and how it flowed. He remembered that he had once heard Psalm 30:11 set to a sad melody and he remembered thinking: “Someday I’m going to write a song to that Psalm that’s happy and fast.” He realized that day had come.

Tommy used a samba rhythm and the words started to come. He and a friend were practicing the newly written song at a friend’s church when the record producer for Integrity Music walked in to see Tommy’s friend. He loved the song “Mourning to Dancing” and it was soon recorded.

“I’ve seen this song used in every kind of circumstance, from praise parties to funerals,” said Tommy. “I think it connects because it’s a song of hope and redemption and promise.”

 

One day all of our tears will be turned into joy. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that He gives joy into our lives.

 

“He's turned my mourning into dancing again He’s lifted my sorrows, I can't stay silent I must sing for His joy has come.”– Tommy Walker

 

God’s Word: “Then young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.” – Jeremiah 31:13

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

 

Devotional - Immanuel's Land
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Nov 5, 2012
Devotional - Immanuel's Land

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

 

Samuel Rutherford was a seventeenth century Scottish Presbyterian theologian and author. He is best remembered for his letters of encouragement.

Two hundred years after Rutherford died, Ann Ross Cousin wrote "The Last Words of Samuel Rutherford."

In 1876, she published a second volume called "Immanuel's Land and other pieces." "Immanuel's Land" contained a poem entitled “Immanuel’s Land” which was based on the final letters of Rutherford.

In two of the stanzas, Cousin wrote the following:

 

“I have wrestled on towards Heaven, 'Gainst storm, and wind, and tide:— Now, like a weary traveller, That leaneth on his guide, Amid the shades of evening, While sinks life's ling'ring sand, I hail the glory dawning From Immanuel's land.

 

Deep waters cross'd life's pathway, The hedge of thorns was sharp Now these lie all behind me— Oh! for a well-tuned harp! Oh! to join Halleluiah With yon triumphant band, Who sing, where glory dwelleth, In Immanuel's land.”

 

Through the difficulties of life, praise the Lord because in the end we will be with Him in Heaven.  Today in prayer, praise Jesus that He is good and His love endures forever.

 

“The praise of God could not be expressed in fewer words than these, ‘For He is good.’” – Augustine

 

God's Word: “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” – Psalm 118:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

 

Devotional - Sometimes Alleluia
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Nov 4, 2012
Devotional - Sometimes Alleluia

"I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands." - Psalm 63:4

 

In 1970, Chuck Girard formed the Christian Band “Love Song.” The group was from Costa Mesa, California and they came out of the drug culture to become the Jesus People. Chuck recalls: “In the early days when Love Song first started out, we didn't know how to say no. We thought if the phone rang, it was God. Sometimes we played two or three times a day for weeks on end. Well, one weekend a bunch of us went up to a cabin for some R&R. we sat around the fireplace the first night to just worship. I had a guitar and I'd been thinking about the different ways in which we express our heart to God. I just started singing, 'Sometimes alleluia, sometimes praise the Lord…' and the chorus was born. Then I basically forgot about it until a few years later when I was preparing to record the Chuck Girard album. I told my wife that I wanted to put a worship song on the album. She reminded me about the little chorus we sang up at the cabin. I said 'Naw that's too simple: I need a real song.' Karen said, 'No, I have a feeling about that one. You need to finish it.' I went to the piano and the verses were written in about 20 minutes. It came out as the final song on the album, and in this case, the rest truly is history.”

“An interesting side note is that a few years later I was introduced to the sermons of Charles Spurgeon for the first time. I was reading through a sermon, and read the line ‘Oh let our joy be unconfined, let us sing with freedom unrestrained’. This was a verbatim line that I had received from the Spirit when I wrote the verses of this song. You can imagine, it fairly blew me away.”

 

Throughout your day, praise Jesus for all that He is. Today in prayer, thank the Lord that in everything we can praise and honor Him.

 

““Sometimes Alleluia, Sometimes Praise the Lord, Sometimes Gently Singing, Our Hearts in one accord” – Chuck Girard

 

God’s Word: “Shout with joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious!”  - Psalm 66:1-2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

 

Devotional - Criticizing God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Nov 1, 2012
Devotional - Criticizing God

“‘But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? ‘Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” - Romans 9:20

 

In a Sermon entitled "Are You Criticizing God?" Pastor R.A. Torrey said the following: "Suppose I should have found on Thanksgiving Day a poor, half-starved tramp and had taken him to my home, given him a good, well-cooked dinner of roast lamb, white potatoes, other vegetables, and pumpkin pie, and then he had gone and complained against me to some other tramp because I did not give him turkey and sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, mince pie, and plum pudding. Would he not have been an ungrateful cur? Yet not so, ungrateful as you are when you complain at the God who has given you taste, hearing, touch, feeling, and many other blessings, because He has not given you sight also. The poorest of us, the most suffering of us, have an enormous deal for which to be thankful and all of it came from God. Not only that, but you and I not only have these things that we possess to be thankful for but, furthermore, every man of us has trampled God's law under foot; every one of us has been a sinner justly condemned before God. But God, instead of dealing with us in stem wrath and judgment, as we all deserve, has not only given us all these blessings, but, in addition, has given His own Son to die on the Cross of Calvary in our place. He has given His best beloved, His dearest, His only begotten Son. But in spite of all that wondrous love that did not stop even at the sacrifice of His own Son, some of you presume to criticize God, who gave His Son to die for you. '0 man, who art thou that repliest against God?'"

 

The opposite of praise is criticism, and we should never doubt God’s goodness towards us. Today in prayer, confess any sin of criticism and praise the Lord for He is good.

 

“The most insanely daring thing that any man can do, the most exceedingly foolish thing any man can do, the most desperately wicked thing that any man can do, is to reply against God, to enter into controversy with God, to criticize God, to condemn God. Yet that is what many people are doing.” - R.A. Torrey

 

God’s Word: “You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘You did not make me’? Can the pot say to the potter, ‘You know nothing’?” - Isaiah 29:16

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2012, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

 

Devotional - Ingratitude
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Oct 31, 2012
Devotional - 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

 

Samuel Leibowitz was a 1915 graduate of Cornell Law School and by 1932 he had established a highly successful New York criminal practice. His clients included Al Capone and members of the New York City police department. Leibowitz is best remembered as counsel for the Scottsboro Boys, nine African-American youths who were falsely accused of rape and sentenced to death in Alabama in 1931. He successfully saved them from the death penalty. In 1940, Leibowitz became a judge and he served more than 25 years on the bench. He developed a reputation as both a tough judge and a "hanging judge." He was a staunch advocate of the death penalty and he publicly advocated its retention as a deterrent to crime. In his early days as a criminal defense attorney, Leibowitz had secured acquittals of 77 capital murder defendants. Not one of his clients ever bothered to thank him.

 

We need to be grateful for all 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 2012, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

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