by Olu Talabi (based on RLCF Bible Study on Wednesday, August 31, 2016)
“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” –Hebrews 13:15.
- Thanksgiving: gratitude for what God has done.
- Praise: adoration of God for who He is.
- Prayer: our innermost interaction with God which may include thanksgiving, praise or our petitions.
*Scripture instructs us to offer all three above with a sacrificial heart or as an offering to God (Hebrews 13:15; Psalm 107:22; Psalm 116:17; Psalm 141:2, etc).
- What does it mean to offer praise, thanksgiving, prayer as a sacrifice to God?
- A sacrifice is costly.
*Two things God desires for an acceptable sacrifice
- Obedience (1 Samuel 15:22; Jeremiah 7:22-23)
- Mercy (Micah 6:6; Mathew 9:13; Mathew 12:7)
It is clear from above verses that God desires an agreeable state in a man’s inner life before even his thanksgiving, praise and prayer are acceptable before Him (Psalm 66:18- If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me). In fact, the Bible calls the sacrifice of the wicked man an abomination before God (Proverbs 15:8; 21:27).
God delights in the praise, thanksgiving and prayer of His people, but He searches the heart first. Everyone who receives anything good from God is likely to thank Him (receiving a new-born child, for example), but God desires above all and accepts with delight the sacrificial thanksgiving, praise and prayer of a heart fully submitted to Him in Christ Jesus; one living in obedience to His word, showing mercy to others and walking in humility before Him.