Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
One of my favorite places on earth is Allen Fieldhouse on the University of Kansas campus in Lawrence, during any basketball game. It’s quite an experience – the crowd noise is deafening, the walls shake, and the air is electric. By the end, the fans' ears are ringing and their voices, if they still have any at all, are hoarse and raspy. Jayhawk fans don’t hold back once they walk through those doors.
Why don’t we approach prayer that way? There are absolutely times for quiet, even silent, time with God in prayer - sitting or walking in stillness and listening for God’s voice. Regular, focused, quiet time in God’s presence is absolutely necessary in this noise-filled world, with a hundred things vying for our attention.
But today’s scripture reminds us that there are also times for making some noise! When was the last time you stretched your arms out and shouted for joy, thanking God for all the things you see, feel, smell, hear, and have been blessed with? Have you ever sung a song of thanksgiving at the top of your voice, outside of weekend worship? When was the last time you talked to God with nothing held back? Have you ever ended your prayer time with a shouted, “Thank you Lord, AMEN!” and walked away with your ears ringing and your voice almost gone from praising God?
Let’s try it this week. Holding back nothing, let’s shout for joy, sing a song of praise without worrying about the music, and give thanks in our loudest voices. Doing that, we can experience something even better than March Madness – the eternal love of and connection with God.
- Jennifer Creager, Prayer Ministry
Jennifer Creagar is the Financial Care Program Director in Congregational Care at Resurrection Leawood. She is married and loves spending time with her family, and she enjoys writing and photography.