Through the Gates of Praise

One of the first things our son, Christian, did when he started college was to find a church he could call home. That made this mom’s heart very happy. A couple of weeks before Christmas, he asked Barry and me to join him for the Sunday service that featured the children’s nativity play. It was priceless! Joseph fell off the stage and two shepherds kept dropping their sheep, but it was all those little voices raised together in praise that brought tears to my eyes.

There is something precious about children who love their Lord.

That’s why I love the story about a group of children erupting in spontaneous praise of Jesus. Matthew 21:15 says,

The children [were] shouting in the temple courts, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David.’

The Scriptures go on to explain that the chief priests and teachers of the law weren’t at all happy when they heard those words. They took their complaint to Jesus Himself with, it seems, the expectation that He should put a stop to it. Jesus’ response was beautiful:

Have you never read, ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’? — Matthew 21:16

These children knew something important: one way we enter into the presence of God is through the gates of praise.

Praise clears away the clutter from our daily lives and prepares our hearts to meet God.

It reminds us of all the ways He has met our needs in the past, and it strengthens our faith for the days ahead. When we praise God, we take our rightful place in the great chorus of creation — a chorus that praises Him without ceasing, right alongside the cherubim and seraphim in the very courts of Heaven.

There will be times when praising God is the last thing you feel like doing, but give it a try anyway. Start with a whisper if that’s all you can manage. Read a psalm aloud if you can’t find any words of your own.

However small the offering seems — and even if it’s mixed with tears — enter His courts with praise.

Praise is a pathway into the presence of God.

Five Minutes in the Word

Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. — Psalm 100:2

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness. — Psalm 29:2

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care. — Psalm 95:6–7

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; He is to be feared above all gods. — Psalm 96:4

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering and come into His courts. — Psalm 96:8

Excerpted with permission from 5 Minutes with Jesus: Quiet Time for Your Soul by Sheila Walsh, copyright Sheila Walsh.

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Your Turn

Let’s fill our prayer with praise today! Let’s prepare our hearts for Christmas by lifting Him up with our voices and in song! Come share your thoughts with us on our blog. We want to hear your praise!

Sheila Walsh

Sheila Walsh is a powerful Bible teacher and best-selling author from Scotland with over 4 million books sold. A featured speaker with Women of Faith® conferences, she has reached more than 3.5 million women by combining honesty, vulnerability, and humor with God's Word. Currently completing her Masters in Theology, Sheila lives in Frisco, Texas with her husband, Barry, her son, Christian, and her two little dogs, Belle and Tink.

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