Praise or Flattery?

“God, you are so good,” I said.  I continued, “You are so caring and loving and wise.”  I stopped.  I decided to just let that sink in today and not continue rattling on, for once.

At first there was stunned silence.  Then God spoke.  “Go on,” he said.

“That’s all,” I told him.  “I just wanted to say how great I think you are.”

“No kidding?!  For real?!  No list?”

“List?”  I asked.  “Whatever do you mean?”

“Well, the usual routine is for you to get my attention,  offer up a few compliments and then lay it on me — the list.”

Suddenly it dawned on me what he was talking about.  My little formula I learned a long time ago —  ACTS.  It stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication.  It has been so handy in my prayer life.  It was good to know he really had been paying attention.

Today, after making that initial statement, I felt a pause in my spirit, as if that were all I should say.  I confess that is most unusual.  With the next item being “Confession,” sometimes I get bogged down on that one and repeat myself “ad nauseum.”  I know he is patient, but enough is enough.  “Thanksgiving” has been a challenge sometimes, and he probably shakes his head in wonder that there have been times that all I could muster was, “Thank you, Jesus, for saving my soul.”  The longest part is usually the “S” — supplication, the list, as he so accurately phrased it.

I began to ponder.  Maybe sometimes he feels like my praise is only flattery.  If I always follow it up with requests, is it genuine?  Salesgirls flatter us in order to make a sale.  Our friends compliment us because they love us.  We can tell the difference.  God can, too.  Hmmm . . . I guess prayer is a relationship, not a formula.

I responded with, “Well, today, all I want to do is to praise you just for who you are.  That’s it — just because You Are.  The Alpha and Omega.  The great I AM.”

I thought I heard him say something about miracles still occurring after all.


About Jan Hamlett

Exploring faith outside the safety of Sunday
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9 Responses to Praise or Flattery?

  1. robinb333 says:

    Enjoyed reading your post…Thanks for sharing…Roin

  2. Pingback: Unanswered Prayers? | Christian CoffeeShop

  3. JAN says:

    Priceless! Loved the mention about the salesgirls’ flattery!


  4. Jan Hamlett says:

    They are pro’s, aren’t they?

  5. Pingback: Mean What You Say and Say What You Mean « Walk with Jesus

  6. Jan, I enjoyed the post. I have also been thinking lately that I talk to much during prayer and I need to listen more. I also pray through ACTS and sometimes those same thoughts come to mind. If I have a thought that is any good (like the one above) then I know who put it there. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the encouragement given through your comments on our site.

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