For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peac
Bit by Bit, Word by Word, Note by Note…is the way I teach new songs to the children in the children’s choir I direct. As I plan out each rehearsal, I do a run through of a piece the children already know. As they sing I think about how a few weeks prior to that moment, they did not know any of the words or music, but are now singing songs in their entirety. After they sing the song they already know, I begin teaching them a new song. I begin with an explanation of the song and why it was chosen. Sometimes, the song is chosen because of a theme. Sometimes, the song is chosen to praise God. For instance, several weeks ago, we talked to the children about how to pray using the five finger method: 1 – praise God, 2 – thank God, 3 – confession, 4 – pray for others, 5 – pray for ourselves. As I introduced a new Christmas piece last night, I shared with the children that the song was a perfect example of the first step of the prayer method. It was about praising God and they learned several names that we call God by. The song they are learning is “Unto Us”, and it is a very simplistic version of Handel’s Messiah chorus, “For Unto Us a Child is Born”. I was amazed how quickly the children learned the words, “And His name will be: Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace”, because of them learning about praising God in their first step of prayer. Those words were the first “bits” learned representing the most important step of prayer, praising God.
So, how do we praise God? What words do we use? Do we begin our prayers by praising God? As an adult of 55, I think I am pretty good at praying. However, when I am in the midst of a dilemma, I begin with the last step of prayer and pray for my circumstances. Normally, I realize in the middle of my prayer that I have not praised God and will go back and say a few words of praise. Bit by Bit, Word by Word! Maybe I should go back and remember the five steps of prayer and learn bit by bit and word by word to pray in a more praising way. Praise God, Thank God, Confess our sins, Pray for others, Pray for self. God is listening.
Prayer: Father God, you are our Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. We praise you for who You are. Be with us today to remember that You want to hear us praise You. Be with us today. Amen.
Prayer Focus: Praising God