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Gratitude and the joy of praising God

From the November 2023 issue of The Christian Science Journal

I’ve always linked gratitude to the idea of praising God. In the Bible, the book of Psalms overflows with powerful expressions of glorifying God, divine Love. One psalm states: “I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High” (Psalms 9:1, 2). 

Praising God is a vital component in the practice of Christian Science. A few years ago I attended a Wednesday testimony meeting at a Christian Science branch church, but that night I was feeling quite unwell. I was grateful for the meeting, which was acknowledging and affirming the power of God to heal sickness and sin. I was grateful, too, that I was with church members and others who had witnessed the healing power of divine Love. Throughout the meeting I felt safe, secure, and surrounded by Love. At the end of the meeting I walked out completely well. 

An account in the Scriptures, that of King Jehoshaphat’s victory over the Moabites and Ammonites, illustrates the practical impact of praising God (see II Chronicles 20). The enemies of Judah formed an overwhelming coalition to make war against Jehoshaphat and his people. In this time of great need, the king called on the nation to pray. Then one citizen, Jahaziel, became filled with the spirit of God and spoke in God’s name, instructing the people of Judah not to be afraid and stating: “Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you.” Then Jehoshaphat “appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever.” 

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