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Daily Devotionals
by Peter Kennedy
Series: DEVOTIONS IN Praise And Thanksgiving
Devotional - His Love Endures Forever
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Nov 29, 2022
Devotional - His Love Endures Forever

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever.”- Psalm 136:1-3

 

The Book of Common Prayer is the name given to a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion and by other Christian churches historically related to Anglicanism. From The Book Of Common Prayer, here is “A General Thanksgiving Prayer”

“Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have done for us. We thank you for the splendor of the whole creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life, and for the mystery of love. We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for the loving care which surrounds us on every side. We thank you for setting us at tasks which demand our best efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments which satisfy and delight us. We thank you also for those disappointments and failures that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone. Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ; for the truth of his Word and the example of his life; for his steadfast obedience, by which he overcame temptation; for his dying, through which he overcame death; and for his rising to life again, in which we are raised to the life of your kingdom. Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know Christ and make him known; and through him, at all times and in all places, may give thanks to you in all things. Amen.”

 

Giving thanks is always in season. Today in prayer, give thanks to Jesus. His love endures forever.

 

“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” - John Milton

 

God’s Word: “Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.” – Psalm 136:26

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING  †

Devotional - Here I Am To Worship
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Nov 28, 2022
Devotional - Here I Am To Worship

“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 confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” — Philippians 2:9-11

 

Christian artist Tim Hughes tells the story behind “Here I Am to Worship”: “I wrote this song when I was studying at university in Sheffield. I’d been reading about the life of Jesus, and about us imitating Christ’s humility and the fact that Jesus gave up everything, walked upon the earth and was obedient even to death on a cross, in Philippians 2. So I began, as often we do, to worship out of response to that.

I began to sing out these words, ‘Light of the world, you stepped down into darkness, opened my eyes, let me see’, and also I had that tag, ‘I’ll never know how much it cost, to see my sin upon the cross’. But I could never ever finish the chorus, and I got more and more frustrated. When I get to that place, often what I do is park the song and move on.

About six months later I went to the movies to watch a film called The Green Mile, a Stephen King story about substitution; someone taking on a punishment that wasn’t rightfully his to take. The themes of the cross and sacrifice were so powerful, and I began to sing this song again. I thought, ‘I must finish that’, but again I couldn’t get the chorus.

I began to listen through to old – back then it was cassettes – tapes of melodic ideas I’d had, and I found an old-school melodic idea which I thought, ‘Actually, that could fit really nicely’, and then quickly wrote those lyrics. The verses speak about what Jesus has done and the chorus needed to be a simple, ‘Well I’m going to respond by worshipping you, bowing down, saying that you’re my God.’ So that’s how the song came together.

Then I played it once in a ministry time and Mike Pilavachi, who heads up Soul Survivor, came up to me and said, ‘What is that song? You have to sing that song every week for the next year’, which I almost ended up doing. I was really surprised when it took off.”

 

Our hearts were meant to worship our all-loving, omnipotent God. Today in prayer, worship Jesus.

 

“Here I am to worship

Here I am to bow down

Here I am to say that you're my God

You're altogether lovely

Altogether worthy

Altogether wonderful to me” – Tim Hughes

 

God’s Word: “saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!’” – Revelation 5:12

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING †

Devotional - It Can Transform Your Life
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Nov 27, 2022
Devotional - It Can Transform Your Life

“For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, 'This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.'" – 1 Corinthians 11:23-24

 

In an article entitled “Prayers of Thanksgiving can transform our lives and the world”, author Max Lucado wrote:

“Scripture says, ‘On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it.’ How often do you see the words ‘betrayed’ and ‘thanks’ in the same sentence, much less in the same heart? Let’s take a cue from Jesus, give thanks and see what happens.

My friend, prayers of gratitude and thanksgiving can get us through the hard stuff. To reflect on your blessings during this time of Thanksgiving is to rehearse God's accomplishments, discover his heart, and remember that he has given us everything that we need. He gives us good gifts, because he is the good giver. Gratitude always leads us to focus on God, rather than our fears. The apostle Paul said, ‘Give thanks for everything to God the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’” 

 

As Thanksgiving 2022 becomes the past, let’s not let our hearts wane from giving thanks. Today, let’s fill our prayers with thanksgiving moment-by-moment, day-by-day and watch our perspective, and our world, transform.

 

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson.

 

God’s Word: “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for everyone” – 1 Timothy 2:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING †

Devotional - The Thanksgiving Song
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Friday Nov 25, 2022
Devotional - The Thanksgiving Song

“The Levites were Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and also Mattaniah, who, together with his associates, was in charge of the songs of thanksgiving.” — Nehemiah 12:8

 

In 2020, Christian artist Ben Rector started working on a Christmas album when he realized there wasn’t any specific music dedicated to Thanksgiving. “It’s weird to me that there’s an entire genre that is just Christmas music, and you can bring up an entire palette of sounds around this one holiday,” said Ben. “I love Christmas, but everybody in America, for the most part, celebrates Thanksgiving, and there’s no music around that.”

In crafting “The Thanksgiving Song,” Rector says it was fun to try to figure out how Thanksgiving music would actually sound.

“I didn’t want to just make it sound like a Christmas song, but I definitely wanted it to feel classic, shares Ben. “Part of that was in the writing process and trying to imagine a Thanksgiving song. Then, in production, I was trying to shape some of the sounds and some of the parts and ended up sounding like something out of a Billy Joel-era, which I love.”

Ben hopes “The Thanksgiving Song” brings some warmth and cheer long before Christmas, during a time when people can use all the comfort they can get.

 

No matter how yesterday unfolded, give thanks to the Lord. Today in prayer, thank God for this Thanksgiving Day!

 

“'Cause the older that I get I see that life is short and bittersweet Thank God for this Thanksgiving Day” – Ben Rector

 

God’s Word: “At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, the Levites were sought out from where they lived and were brought to Jerusalem to celebrate joyfully the dedication with songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals, harps and lyres.” – Nehemiah 12:27

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING  †

Devotional - For He Is Good
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Nov 23, 2022
Devotional - For He Is Good

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

 

In 1620, John Howland, an indentured servant, was on the Mayflower. After several months at sea, the ship was enveloped in a violent storm. As the ship pitched, Howland was tossed into the sea. As he was about to hit the water, he miraculously grabbed a rope on his way into the sea. Howland was rescued and made it to Massachusetts. On November 11, 1620, the Mayflower Compact was signed. Howland was the thirteenth of the 41 “principal” men to sign. He was one of the Pilgrims to celebrate the first Thanksgiving.

He eventually married and had a number of children who continued a lineage to the likes of author Ralph Waldo Emerson, President George Bush, and actors Humphrey Bogart, Anthony Perkins, and Alec Baldwin.  

 

This Thanksgiving Day, remember the Lord’s goodness. Today in prayer, give thanks to Jesus for He is good.

 

“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” – Meister Eckhart

 

God’s Word: “They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” – Psalm 107:5-9

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING †

Devotional - Expressed Gratitude
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Nov 22, 2022
Devotional - Expressed Gratitude

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

 

Henry van Dyke was an American poet, author, educator, diplomat, and Presbyterian minister. He was a friend to Robert E. Lee, Helen Keller, and President Woodrow Wilson. Wilson was a former classmate of van Dyke, and appointed Henry Minister to the Netherlands and Luxembourg in 1913. Shortly after his appointment, World War I threw Europe into dismay. Americans all around Europe rushed to Holland as a place of refuge. Although inexperienced as an ambassador, van Dyke conducted himself with the skill of a trained diplomat, maintaining the rights of Americans in Europe and organizing work for their relief.

He wrote: “Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.”

In his poem “Gratitude” he wrote:

“For when we gladly eat our daily bread, we bless

The Hand that feeds us;

And when we tread the road of Life in cheerfulness,

Our very heart-beats praise the Love that leads us.”

 

This Thanksgiving, express your gratitude to God. Today in prayer, give Jesus thanks for all that He has given you.

 

“Be grateful for the tiny details of your life and make room for unexpected and beautiful blessings.” – Henry Van Dyke

 

God’s Word: “giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” – Ephesians 5:20

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2019, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING  †

Devotional - Be Honor And Glory
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Nov 21, 2022
Devotional - Be Honor And Glory

“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” — 1 Timothy 1:17

 

Walter Chalmers Smith was born on December 5, 1824, in Aberdeen, Scotland. He studied theology at Edinburgh. His first ministerial assignment was in London at the Free Scotch Church in Chadwell Street, Islington where he was ordained.

In 1876 he returned to Edinburgh where he pastored Edinburgh Free High Church. Walter wrote poetry and one of his early poems was turned into the hymn “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise”.

It is based on the words found in I Timothy 1:17: “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”

It is a praise and worship hymn. It praises our God who is eternal, immortal, invisible and all wise. It is one of those hymns that make one contemplate the greatness of our God.

 

We need to be still and worship the greatness of Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, praise our Immortal, invisible God.

 

“Immortal, invisible, God only wise,

In light inaccessible, hid from our eyes,

Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,

Almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise.” – Walter C. Smith

 

God’s Word: “to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” – Jude 1:25

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING  †

Devotional - Count Your Many Blessings
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Nov 20, 2022
Devotional - Count Your Many Blessings

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” — Colossians 3:15

 

In a blog post, Dr. John Ed Mathison writes: “I heard once about a church from North Carolina that sent a mission team to a leper colony on the Caribbean Island of Tobago. The team met a lot of sad patients afflicted with leprosy. One memorable experience was a worship service they held in the campus chapel.

The lepers came in and took their seats on the pews, and the mission team led them in hymns. The pastor of the group was a man named Jack. He noticed there was one leper on the back row who was facing in the opposite direction. All the rest of the lepers were facing the song leader.

Jack announced, “We have time for one more hymn. Does anyone have a favorite?” About this time the leprous lady in the back row turned around and for the first time faced the song leader. Jack said that it was the most hideous site he had ever seen in a human being. She had no nose or lips. Her head was almost like a skull. When she raised her arm in the air, she had no hand. It was just a nub.

The pastor then said this leprous lady said, “Could we sing ‘Count Your Many Blessings’?” It was at that point the whole mission team experienced something they had never experienced before. Here was a lady, with relatively nothing to be thankful for, asking to sing “Count Your Many Blessings.” At first, they couldn’t even lead the song, and then they sang it with new meaning. If a leprous lady on the Island of Tobago had as her favorite song “Count Your Many Blessings,” how much more should we not just sing the song, but do what it says?

 

We can’t count high enough to list all of our blessings. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord for blessing you in so many ways.

 

“When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,

When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,

Count your many blessings, name them one by one,

And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,

And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.” - Johnson Oatman, Jr.

 

God’s Word: “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” – Colossians 3:17

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING  †

Devotional - Thankful For Others
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Nov 17, 2022
Devotional - Thankful For Others

“I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.” — Ephesians 1:16

 

In 1975, Madalenna Lai arrived in the United States from Viet Nam with her four young children. Her husband stayed behind to fight North Vietnamese troops. It would be 15 years before Madalenna would learn whether he had survived.

After Madalenna and her children reached U.S. soil, an American family in Pennsylvania took them in for two years. Madalenna later moved her family to Pasadena, where they lived on welfare for a year while Madalenna got her footing in her new country. She eventually started two beauty shops, then opened a cosmetology school in Pomona.

In the years since she boarded a wooden boat and fled communist-led Vietnam, Madalenna has wanted to say "thank you" to the Americans who helped her build a new life in the United States.

On New Year's Day in 2001, she got her wish in one of the country's most-watched events, the Tournament of Rosas Parade.

It took eight years, and she sold her house to raise the $100,000 to do it, but when the parade's 52 floats start through Pasadena, Madalenna’s was among them.

Her 35-foot long, 18-feet wide float carried a simple message: “Thank you America and the world.”

 

Often the blessings of God come through the kindnesses of others. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord for others’ kindness to you.

 

“Everything we do should be a result of our gratitude for what God has done for us.” – Lauryn Hill

 

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 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING   †

Devotional - Worthy Of Our Praises
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Nov 16, 2022
Devotional - Worthy Of Our Praises

“I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.” – 2 Samuel 22:4

 

Contemporary Christian artist Paul Baloche began his career in 1989, first serving as a worship pastor for Community Christian Fellowship Church in Lindale, Smith County, Texas. He has released sixteen live and studio albums, including the song “Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)”.

In 2005, Paul teamed up with Brenton Brown to write “Hosanna”. They based the song on Matthew 21:9.  According to Brenton: “Hosanna is one of my favorite worship words.  It started out meaning ‘Save us God’ and then later came to mean ‘Praise you, God.’  We wanted to capture the excitement we feel when God’s King and his Kingdom draw near – the God who sets things right, who heals and redeems us and makes us new.”

The song's simplicity in language has made it a popular song of worship.

 

May your heart today be filled with praise and gratitude to our Lord and King. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for He is worthy of our praises!

 

“Hosanna

Hosanna

You are the God who saves us

Worthy of all our praises” – Paul Baloche

 

God’s Word: “The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Hosanna in the highest!’”

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING  †

 

Devotional - Thank You, Lord
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Nov 15, 2022
Devotional - Thank You, Lord

“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

 

Ray Pritchard is president of “Keep Believing Ministries” which includes a national preaching ministry, outreach to China, and other goodwill efforts. He wrote:

“The foundation of gratitude is the expectation of nothing. If one expects nothing then anything is a bonus. If one expects more than he receives, then he is disappointed. We are so prone to complain because roses have thorns than to give thanks because thorns have roses! ‘In everything give thanks.” How do we do this in a practical sense? First, thank him for your blessings. Second, thank him for how he has helped you in your trials. Third, thank him for his presence every day. Fourth, thank him for his promises for the future. As a Christian, our whole life is to be one great, ‘Thank you, Lord.’ This is the will of God in Christ Jesus for us.’”

 

The Lord has blessed each of us in so many ways. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord for your blessings, trials, His presence, and His promises.

 

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

 

God’s Word: “We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers.” – 1 Thessalonians 1:2

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING  †

Devotional - The Lion And The Lamb
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Nov 14, 2022
Devotional - The Lion And The Lamb

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

 

Leeland Mooring is a Christian musician. He tells the story behind the worship song “The Lion and the Lamb”:

“We were leading worship at a church in California for three days. The people coming to church were very hungry for God and very expectant. Every night got more intense, and the expectations and hunger grew. It was amazing leading worship for them because none of them cared about us, they were just there for Jesus and pursuing Him. We sang like two full-length songs, and lots of spiritual songs, where we were singing words like “Holy” and “Worthy” over and over for an hour.

The Bible talks about spiritual songs, which come out of your heart and Spirit. They aren’t necessarily a written song, but come out of your heart. That’s what we were doing, and everyone was singing their own songs to God. We were just weeping, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. My brother came over to me and asked me to play at the piano while he went down to pray for people. While I was there, God dropped the whole chorus of this song on me right there. I recorded the chorus on my phone.

For a year and a half, I played it for artists and nobody really connected with it. I played it for Brenton, and he just latched on to it. It spoke to him a lot, and he started working on verses with me. Then I met up with Brian Johnson, and we talked about writing songs together, and I reached out to him as well. He loved it as well. Together, the three of us finished the song in about a month. We sang it at a youth camp, and all the kids just sang along, and we knew the song was done.”

 

Praise and thanks lead to deeper worship of our Lord and God. Today in prayer, spend a few quiet moments worshiping Jesus.

 

“Our God is the Lion, the Lion of Judah He's roaring with power and fighting our battles And every knee will bow before Him Our God is the Lamb, the Lamb that was slain For the sins of the world, His blood breaks the chains And every knee will bow before the Lion and the Lamb Every knee will bow before Him” - Leeland

 

God’s Word: “I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.” – Psalm 86:12

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING  †

Devotional - Our Desire To Praise Him!
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Nov 13, 2022
Devotional - Our Desire To Praise Him!

“Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” – Revelation 5:13

 

In 1998, Nick Cave, an Australian rock/pop artist, was asked by the Vienna Poetry Academy to give a series of talks on the nature of songwriting. A year later he gave a slightly revised version of the same speech at London’s Royal Festival Hall. Here is an excerpt on the relationship between love songs, God, and “saudade”, a Portuguese word connected to a sense of longing and desire for God’s presence.

“We all experience within us what the Portuguese call ‘saudade’, which translates as an inexplicable longing, an unnamed and enigmatic yearning of the soul, and it is this feeling that lives in the realms of imagination and inspiration and is the breeding ground for the sad song, for the Love Song. ‘Saudade’ is the desire to be transported from darkness into light, to be touched by the hand of that which is not of this world. The Love Song is the light of God, deep down, blasting up through our wounds.”

 

May the desire of your heart be to praise our eternal, loving God! Today in prayer, let us praise Jesus; because He took us from darkness to His glorious light.

 

“All hail the power of Jesus' name!

Let angels prostrate fall,

Bring forth the royal diadem,

And crown Him Lord of all.” – E.P. Scott

 

God’s Word: “to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” – Jude 1:25

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING  †

Devotional - Proclaim His Name
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Nov 10, 2022
Devotional - Proclaim His Name

“In that day you will say: “Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted.” – Isaiah 12:4

 

Paul Eshelman is responsible for most of the Jesus films being sent around the world. He's sent millions of them. He was talking one time about the Jesus film being shown at a refugee camp in Mozambique, Africa. He said most of those folks had never heard of Jesus, never heard anything about the Bible. They just fell in love with Jesus through the Jesus film; but when Jesus was arrested, beaten, and led away to be crucified, they began to weep and wail and rush to the screen. They created such a stir, such noise, and such dust that they had to stop the film.

Eshelman went on to say, "Finally things settled down, and they could start the film again. Then they realized that the crucifixion wasn't the end of the story." When Jesus was resurrected, "The crowd exploded as if a dam had burst. Everyone began cheering and dancing and hugging one another and jumping up and down." The invitation was given, and more than 500 people, almost everybody in the crowd, came forward. The next day that 40-member Mozambique refuge church had 500 new members who had come to be a part of the worship service.

 

When we realize the marvelous work of Christ’s resurrection, our souls cannot help but praise Him. Today in prayer, praise Jesus that He has conquered death and gives everlasting life.

 

“The great thing, and the only thing, is to adore and praise GOD.” – Thomas Merton

 

God’s Word: “Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!” – Psalm 105:1

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING  †

Devotional - Hymn Of Heaven
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Nov 9, 2022
Devotional - Hymn Of Heaven

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” – Ephesians 1:3

 

In 2020, when Christian songwriter Phil Wickham was wrestling with what was going on in the world, he turned to the Lord in desperation. He shouted out in praise “You are on the throne, You are king!” He remembered that Jesus said: “The kingdom of Heaven is at hand, it is here”. It was in this struggle that he wrote the praise song “Hymn of Heaven”.

Phil shared the story behind the song, saying: “The song is all about bringing heaven to this moment, with the way we act, and the way we speak, and the way we live, letting Jesus be the king and his rule, and his way taking over.”

The song was released in February 2021 and it has quickly become a popular worship song.

 

During times of turmoil, each of us needs to take a step back and praise the Lord. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that you can join those in heaven right now in worshiping Jesus.

 

“So let it be today we shout the hymn of Heaven

With angels and the saints, we raise a mighty roar

Glory to our God who gave us life beyond the grave

Holy, holy is the Lord” – Phil Wickham

 

God’s Word: “May the Lord bless you from Zion, he who made heaven and earth!” – Psalm 134:3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING  †

Devotional - A Reason To Sing
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Nov 8, 2022
Devotional - A Reason To Sing

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

 

Several decades ago, a Methodist minister, Harold Bosley, told a story from his student days at the University of Chicago in the 1930s. He and some fellow students went to a conference that was being held at a large black church on the North side of Chicago. The conference featured a panel of four speakers who were discussing how to deal with the problems of life. One of the speakers was the attorney, Clarence Darrow, who had gained recognition as the defense lawyer in the famous Scopes trial in Dayton, Tennessee.

Those were the dark, difficult days of the Great Depression in America. People were in desperate need, but couldn’t find jobs, and there was despair throughout the land--but, of all people, the blacks of Chicago seemed to be suffering even more than others. When Clarence Darrow rose to speak, he began to talk about those issues and the hard times that the blacks were experiencing. In the course of his remarks he said, “But, I don’t understand it. You sing such great music. I have heard you singing here today. Amid all the woes of life, how can you sing? What in the world do you have to sing about in the face of all you’re going through?” He intended that as a rhetorical question, not expecting anyone to answer--but quick as a flash a woman stood up right in front of him and said, “Why do we sing? What do we have to sing about? We have Jesus to sing about!”--and all over the congregation people shouted, “Amen! Amen!”

 

When our eyes are on Jesus Christ, our troubles melt away. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that He is our deliverer from all of our troubles.

 

"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.” – Andre Crouch

 

God’s Word: “My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long.” – Psalm 71:8

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING  †

Devotional - 10,000 Reasons
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Nov 7, 2022
Devotional - 10,000 Reasons

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

 

The story behind the praise song, ‘10,000 Reasons’, gives us all an important reminder of how and why we should rightly praise God. The story of the actual writing of the song was uneventful and, in a way, unusual in the fact that it was a fairly quick process. Matt Redman wrote the song within an hour. The melody was shared by his friend Jonas Myrin and the lyrics, mostly from Psalm 103, quickly fell into place. So, the story behind the songwriting process is fairly pedestrian. However, the point behind the song, as Matt puts it, is a whole other story.

Psalm 103 gives these amazing reasons to praise God, including; He forgives our sins, heals our diseases, redeems our lives from the pit, crowns us with love and compassion, satisfies our desires, and gives righteousness and justice. This song reflects the words of this Psalm, along with other reasons to praise God. The point behind the song, as writer Matt Redman said: “If you wake up one morning and you cannot think of a reason to bring God some kind of offering of thanks or praise, then you can be sure there’s something wrong at your end of the pipeline, and not his. We live beneath an unceasing flow of goodness, kindness, greatness, and holiness, and every day we’re given reason after reason why Jesus is so completely and utterly worthy of our highest and best devotion.”

 

There are far more than 10,000 reasons to praise the Lord. Today in prayer, spend some time praising Jesus for His goodness. 

 

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, 

O my soul, worship His holy Name. 

Sing like never before, O 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, O my soul.” – Psalm 103:22

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING  †

Devotional - Praise Him When You Are Down
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Sunday Nov 6, 2022
Devotional - Praise Him When You Are Down

“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” – Psalm 42:11

 

Charles H. Spurgeon was known as the "Prince of Preachers". He was pastor of the congregation of the New Park Street Chapel (later the Metropolitan Tabernacle) in London for 38 years.

Spurgeon authored sermons, an autobiography, commentaries, prayer books, devotionals, magazines, poetry, and hymns.

On the subject of praising the Lord during difficult times, Spurgeon wrote:

“It is a great thing to praise Jesus Christ by day, but there is no music sweeter than the nightingale's, and she praises God by night. It is well to praise the Lord for his mercy when you are in health, but make sure that you do it when you are sick, for then your praise is more likely to be genuine. When you are deep down in sorrow, do not rob God of the gratitude that is due to him; never stint him of his revenue of praise whatever else goes short. Praise him sometimes on the high-sounding cymbals, —crash, crash, —with all your heart and being; but when you cannot do that, just sit, and mean his praise in solemn silence in the deep quiet of your spirit.”

 

No matter where you are today, on the mountaintop or in a valley, Praise the Lord!

 

“God gets some of His richest praise amidst dying groans—and He gets delightful music from His people’s triumphant cries.” – Charles H. Spurgeon

 

God’s Word: “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” – Acts 16:25

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING  †

Devotional - Praise The Lord Together
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Thursday Nov 3, 2022
Devotional - Praise The Lord Together

“Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.” – Psalm 34:3

 

Kim Mitzo Thompson has been a children's author and record producer along with her twin sister Karen Mitzo Hilderbrand since 1987. The Northfield, Ohio natives are known as the Twin Sisters.  The duo has written thousands of products for children including over 3,000 songs, 500 digital albums, 160 ebooks, 500 teacher resources, 15 apps, and hundreds of books and more! Thousands of their products can be found online and are published by various publishers worldwide for distribution.

In 1999, the Twin Sisters wrote the simple praise song “Praise The Lord Together”. The 8-second verse is often repeated and sung in a round. It is a song that children have embraced and it has been translated into multiple languages.

 

Praise does not have to be extravagant, only heartfelt. Today in prayer, Praise the Lord Together singing “Alleluia”.

 

“Praise the Lord together singing Alleluia alleluia alleluia Praise the Lord together singing Alleluia alleluia alleluia Praise the Lord together singing Alleluia alleluia allelluia Praise the Lord together singing Alleluia alleluia alleluia Praise the Lord together singing Alleluia alleluia alleluia” – Kim and Karen Mitzo

 

God’s Word: “I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.” – Psalm 69:30

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING †

Devotional - Praising Him In The Morning
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Wednesday Nov 2, 2022
Devotional - Praising Him In The Morning

“Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.” – Psalm 90:14

 

Christian author John Stott, in his book “Through the Bible Through the Year” said that he found it helpful for many years, at the beginning of each day, to recite the following trinitarian liturgy, which begins with praise. Here is John’s praise:

“Almighty and everlasting God, Creator and Sustainer of the universe, I worship you. Lord Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, I worship you. Holy Spirit, Sanctifier of the people of God, I worship you. Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.”

 

Each morning is a fresh start in our eternal life with Jesus. Today in prayer, start by praising the Lord.

 

“When I first open my eyes upon the morning meadows and look out upon the beautiful world, I thank God I am alive.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

God’s Word: “In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” – Psalm 5:3

 

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING †

Devotional - Criticizing God
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Tuesday Nov 1, 2022
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

 

Pastor R.A. Torrey said the following: “I had two friends in England, very dear friends, who were beautiful Christians. They had a lovely daughter. She grew to maidenhood and was said to have been an unusually beautiful girl in both face and character. Some said she was the most beautiful character they had ever met.  When this lovely daughter was seventeen or eighteen, she was taken with rheumatic fever, and, after awful suffering, died. The father and mother never complained. They kissed the hand that smote.

Some time after this sorrow had befallen them, I was talking with them about it. They told me how God had sustained them in that trying hour. Only a little while after this conversation, their second daughter, now grown to womanhood, was also taken down with precisely the same malady, rheumatic fever. Her fever ran up to 107 and stayed there day after day, and she seemed beyond all hope.  Then the mother's faith gave way, and she said, "God is cruel to take my second daughter when I never complained about the first, and not only to take my second daughter but to take her in just the same way He took the first." But God spared the child. She is well now, a devoted Christian woman in very active Christian work. And that mother has repented of her wickedness.”

 

The opposite of praising God is mocking and criticizing Him. 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 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING †

Devotional - Ingratitude
Posted by Peter Kennedy on Monday Oct 31, 2022
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

 

Pastor Paul S. Rees told of a man whose job it was to transport people who were being committed to a mental hospital to the institution. After delivering a patient one day, he was walking to his car when a voice called out, “Hey you!” It came from an upper floor of the hospital. Looking up, the man called back, “Are you speaking to me?" The voice from the window answered, “Yes, I want to ask you a question. Have you ever thanked God that you have a healthy mind?” The driver spoke of this incident saying, “I suddenly realized that after bringing people to this hospital for 15 years, I had never once thanked God for a good mind.”

 

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 2022, Devotional E-Mail

DEVOTIONS IN PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING   †

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