Several years ago now, prompted by, I believe, the Holy Spirit I began a journey. The sole reason for the journey was to bless the Name of the Lord. When learning how to pray - yes, we can truly learn how to pray and, in fact, I am still learning about prayer and the unlimited access to God and the relationship with God forged through prayer, and being a warrior in prayer - I have come upon prayer - devices, if you will - to remain focused, to guide or direct my prayers. One such device uses the acronym ACTS. Acknowledge, Confess, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.
I first read about this device in the mid-nineties when I was reading Becky Tirabassi's book Let Prayer Change Your Life and I was intrigued when she shared in the story of when she and a group of women began praying with this device they struggled making it through the entire acronym ACTS. In fact, in the beginning, when they gathered, they rarely made it past A - acknowledge. They spent so much time acknowledge who God is, giving blessing to God, praising God that they ran out of time.
It is my preferred way to begin prayer time. Acknowledging God and blessing his Name.
In 2012 I heard a song on the radio by Matt Redman, a Christian music artist, called 10000 Reasons (Bless the Lord). There is a line in the lyrics,
You're rich in love
And You're slow to anger
Your name is great
And Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness
I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons
For my heart to find
...ten thousand reasons for my heart to find. Those words moved me to find those ten thousand reasons to bless the Lord. Towards the end of 2012 I began a journal writing down blessings to the Lord.
You rescue the sinner.
Your Word is Truth
Your love is Great
You are the Prince of Peace
You are eternally steadfast
You are Rock of my salvation
Your burden is light
The grave could not hold You
You are my sword and shield
Your compassions are new every morning
You are the Great I AM
The Lily of the Valley
Your grace overwhelms
Repairer of broken walls
You are my firm foundation
Every painted sky is a canvas of your grace
...and so much more
One by one, numbering as I go only because I wondered...10000 reasons...how long would that take?
I'm not there yet. I'm not even close.
Do I write every day? No. Sometimes, I go months and then I am spurred on to journal blessings to God once again.
I read an article later that said the song was written based on Psalm 105: 1-5,
Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
2 Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
3 Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
4 Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always.
5 Remember the wonders he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced...
and written to explore how we can never run out of reasons to bless and praise God. Yes! This is what I set out to do. I am inspired by songs I hear on the radio, songs we sing in church that beat loudly on my heart, and passages I am led to in my Bible study. I may reach 10000 reasons to bless the Lord, in my journal, but, even so, if I had 10000 years to forevermore I would still be blessing the Lord,
And on that day
When my strength is failing
The end draws near
And my time has come
Still my soul will
Sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years
And then forevermore -
10000 Reasons, Matt Redman