Prayer is an area in which all of us can grow. How beautiful it is to be led in prayer by a godly man who seems obviously seasoned in the practice of prayer! If we are discerning, we can see some marks of a mature, developed prayer life. While there are many characteristics of such, one has to be the practice of praising God in prayer.
David was a man who modeled effusive praise in his prayers to God. The Psalms teach us praise through David’s writings, and at least 25 of the 150 have been catalogued as psalms of praise (or one out of every six)! Take just one of these, Psalm 40, and notice how David lavishes praise on God as he prays to Him. The maturity of his prayer here is in stark contrast to some prayers, noted for the abundance of the requests and petitions while notably omitting praise to God.
In Psalm 40, David praises God for deliverance (1-2), bringing joy (3), and His works (5). Though the middle of the Psalm is a petition for help, David cannot help but return to the theme of praise before he concludes his prayer. I love the ending. He says, “Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let such as love Your salvation say continually, ‘The Lord be magnified!’ But I am poor and needy; Yet the Lord thinks upon me. You are my help and my deliverer; Do not delay, O my God” (16-17).
May I encourage us, beginning with our personal prayer lives, to give forethought and be intentional in this regard. Find ways and reasons to praise, exalt, and magnify God. Think of His nature, His power, His love, His concern, His majesty, and His holiness. Tell Him how great He is! See yourself in stark contrast to His perfection and sovereignty. What will flow from that will not be a desire to be helped, but a gratitude that will show up in your prayers. You will feel the need and desire to thank Him specifically and at length for all He has done, is doing, and will do.
Let us be powerful people of prayer! Let us praise!