My husband and I attend a dinner party every Wednesday night hosted by friends at our church, "C3 NYC." It’s a tradition started by Pastors Josh and Georgie Kelsey, where members of the congregation meet up once a week to catch up on life, trade insights about that week’s sermon and share prayer requests along with "praise reports."
Praise reports are exactly what they sound like — reports of praise-worthy life events. I rarely share praise reports, but I almost always have prayer requests. It’s not that I’m unaware of God’s innumerable blessings in my life; in fact, I try to take time every day to thank God for them while I pray. But I’ve been hesitant to talk about these blessings with other people because I don’t want to appear as though I’m somehow bragging about these gifts, especially knowing I don’t deserve them.
I know life can be incredibly unfair and challenging for many people — and I never want to come off as insensitive by highlighting wonderful things happening in my life. Maybe you’ve had moments like these as well.
But I felt gobsmacked a few weeks ago as our church group closed the evening. We went around one-by-one, and when it came to my turn I offered my prayers and told everyone I didn‘t have a praise report that week. Then something so simple, yet profound happened.
It was our newest member’s turn to speak. He paused for a moment to think of what he wanted to tell us. I assumed he was trying to decide which prayer requests he wanted to voice, but instead he said, “Gosh. It’s so hard to decide which praise report to share — there is just so much to be thankful for! God is so good.”
A rush of emotions hit me, but the most prominent one was regret. He was right! In that moment I realized I had been hesitant to announce my blessings because I was giving myself way too much credit.
I think our conversations would drastically change if we spent less time worrying about ourselves and more time giving God a shout-out.
Every single good thing in my life — every accomplishment, comfort, loving relationship, and source of peace — has come directly from God (James 1:17). He deserves the praise, and ALL of the credit! Yes, He appreciates when I thank Him in my prayers, but I should also tell others about all of the amazing things He has done for me. These praise reports are my witness for Him. And as we know from the Bible, He blesses all of us so that we might encourage and inspire others through our testimonies of His unbelievable faithfulness.
To quote Psalm 145:5-7, "I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works. Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts, and I will declare Your greatness. They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness, and shall sing of Your righteousness."
Moving forward, I’m going to share a praise report every week with my church group. And I’ll do my best to brag on Him to my family, friends, co-workers and even acquaintances — because it should be all about Him, all of the time. He is sustaining me through every test and trial; the least I can do is give Him the credit — especially when I’m being encouraged to do so! I think our conversations, as well as our overall demeanor, would drastically change if we spent less time worrying about ourselves and more time giving God a shout-out for all the things He’s ALREADY given us.