When was the last time you could not help but utter praise to God?
How do you feel when you genuinely praise God? For me, I usually ‘feel’ the incredible awesomeness of the moment with my whole self, inside and outside, which includes my heart and soul and mind. Whether it be an experience in nature (the indescribable beauty of a brilliant sunset), a profound and authentic encounter with another human bringing us deeper into a positive relationship, or a prayer experience that transcends the moment and God graces me with an overwhelming presence of being and unconditional love. These times fill me with such uncontainable joy that I cannot keep the pleasure to myself and need to somehow express these feelings to God (and my immense gratitude at being part of God’s creation).
At the end of May I was invited to spend the day with my youngest son on his 21st birthday, my daughter and a friend of hers. I was pleasantly surprised that they truly wanted me to be part of the day! We had an absolutely wonderful time visiting a couple Milwaukee breweries, an Italian market, an incredibly enjoyable dinner and good conversation and connection all day long! My heart was so full of joy, contentment and gratitude at the end of the day it seemed to radiate out of my being.
That was one of the times when words failed to adequately express how deeply grateful I was for my kids and our relationship, as well as the opportunity to have some fun and enjoy good food and drink with them. Driving home, after dropping off my son and daughter and her friend, I felt so blessed and tried to thank and praise God for everything encompassed in the day. I could barely get out ‘thank you’ and ‘I am so very grateful’ and probably ‘I don’t deserve this’, but my emotions kept rushing forward so quickly that words just could not keep up and do justice. This is an example of a time when I try to express my praise with my whole being, no words necessary. I rest in the moment feeling all of my emotions and open my whole self, spirit and soul, and share it all with God. And this is done with complete trust that the Holy Spirit intercedes even though,
“[I] do not know how to pray as [I] ought, …
the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings,” (Romans 8:26)
God knows and understands exactly my feelings, my thoughts and my praises.
“You understand my thoughts from afar… with all my ways you are familiar.
Even before a word is on my tongue, Lord, you know it all.” (Psalm 139: 2, 3-4)
Sometimes I manage to squeak out, “Jesus, enjoy this with me.” or “My Lord and my God, wow! This is incredible! You are amazing!” Often I motion upward with my shoulders, chest and arms as a physical manifestation of sending my prayers to God thus ‘helping’ the Spirit’s interpretive groans.
It is so good to praise God, with words or without. For me, learning to praise God with my whole being and presence without words, has deepened my relationship with God and with Christ in ways I never imagined.
When was the last time you genuinely praised God, with or without words? Let that be today; in nature, in relationship or in prayer. And if not today, try tomorrow, and the tomorrow after that. Then soon it can become second nature and what an indescribable joy that is!
– Adele DiNatale-Svetnicka
Trusting God is still a key part of my faith journey. Here is a Litany of Trust, one of my favorites. If it speaks to you, enjoy: https://sistersoflife.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Mobile-Litany-of-Trust.pdf