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Psalm : Chapter 145

1)  I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. 2)  Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. 3)  Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. 4)  One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. 5)  They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty— and I will meditate on your wonderful works.[b] 6)  They tell of the power of your awesome works— and I will proclaim your great deeds. 7)  They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness. 8)  The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. 9)  The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. 10)  All your works praise you, Lord; your faithful people extol you. 11)  They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, 12)  so that all people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.

Book of the Month

Sammy Tippit told his fiancée, “I can’t promise we’ll be rich, but life won’t be boring.”
Sammy had no idea what an understatement that would become. Beginning in the bars of Baton Rouge and the nightclubs of Chicago, Tippit has shared the news of life-changing faith in Christ all over the world – including in the middle of a revolution in Romania, the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda, and war in Burundi and the Congo.
Sammy’s lifelong adventure has come at a great price. He’s been cursed, threatened, arrested, deported, and blacklisted. He’s also been personally broken, ravaged with illness, and devastated by grief.
Yet he continues to preach to in stadiums, in open fields, and via satellite technology to hundreds of thousands around the globe.  For all other books…

Praise and Worship
Sammy Tippit: I want to welcome you back to our conversation about prayer. I’ve been talking with Dave Butts, president of Harvest Prayer Ministries, chairman of the U.S. National Prayer Committee, and a man who just loves Jesus. That’s it. He loves him, and he wants to share him. He wants to walk with him. I’ve been so blessed by Dave. We’re going to continue our discussion on prayer. Now Dave, I want us to begin to talk about the greatest man of prayer and teacher on prayer who ever walked this planet, the face of this earth: Jesus.
Dave Butts: Absolutely.
Sammy: He taught his disciples to pray. I find it really interesting that they came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray…” They had seen him do miracles. They had seen him do a lot of things, and they didn’t say, “Lord, teach us to do the miracles,” or, “Teach us to heal the sick.” They said, “Lord, teach us to pray…” because they knew the secret of everything he did was prayer.
Dave: That’s right.
Sammy: As a man, he talked to God. People say, “Why did Jesus have to pray?” Because he was a man. As God, he didn’t need to, but as a man, he showed us how to live, so he prayed and sought the face of God. He taught his disciples to pray, and I find there’s an order. When he opened the door of prayer, the first thing he said was, “Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.” Now we were talking about focus in a previous session, but Jesus says to get the focus as you pray on who God is.
Dave: Absolutely.
Sammy: “Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed by thy name.” Praise, thanksgiving… How important is it for us to have that element of prayer right up front?
Dave: I would say that if we don’t get that, we probably aren’t going to see anything else happen. Here’s why I think that. Again, Jesus got prayer better than anybody else, and I would say this about it. Jesus did prayer from both sides. If you think about it, he’s the only one who both prays and is prayed to, so he gets it. He understands prayer. So when he teaches us something about prayer, we need to really, really pay attention.
Sammy: Yeah.
Dave: What he shows us is that if we’re going to be effective in prayer, we need to start off by paying attention to who we’re talking to. I’m convinced… Many times in my own life, I’ve come rushing into prayer, and my whole focus has not been on God but on me. That happens when we fail to bring worship or praise into our prayer time. See, Jesus taught us how to do this correctly.
In a real sense, Jesus is saying to the disciples, “Guys, if you want to learn how to pray, you need to start off by paying attention to who you’re talking to. He’s worthy of all worship. He is holy. He is hallowed. He’s our Father. Pay attention when you’re talking to him.” See, our problem is… If I’m worried, I’m upset, I’m fearful, and I have all of these issues, and then I come running into prayer and only talk about those issues, I typically leave the prayer time with those same issues. All I’ve done is focus on the problem.
I’ve not focused on the Problem Solver. When I begin to worship, the attention shifts. My prayers become effective because I’m no longer focusing on myself. I’m not focusing on you. I’m not focusing on the situation. I’m coming to the God who made all things, the Holy One, the one who spoke so that everything that is came into being. Suddenly, all of those issues just begin to diminish in the light of who I’m talking to.
Sammy: I’ll tell you what. It gets exciting when that happens. I remember that once as a new Christian, I went out to this lake. I was in college. I was a brand new Christian. I went out to this lake, and there was a pier that went out over the lake. I went out, and you could see the stars… I would say, “Oh, God, I love you.” I’d get my focus on him and what Jesus had done for me. I was so ecstatic that I fell into the lake.
Dave: Oh yeah?
Sammy: I looked up, and I said, “I still love you!”
Dave: You were baptized again!
Sammy: Right. It was great. But you know what? I want to go back to something you started with. I think this is really important. When we first started the series on prayer, you talked about God’s being love. It’s interesting to me that the very first characteristic Jesus points us to is the fatherhood of God.
Dave: That’s right.
Sammy: “Our Father…” Until you know him as Father, not just God up there, almighty and all-powerful, but as Father… By the way, he’s a certain kind of father. He’s teaching this in Matthew 6, but in Matthew 7, he tells us about exactly what kind of father he is. He says, “If you, being evil fathers…” I mean, I’ve blown it. I’ve messed up.
“If you know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Heavenly Father who is perfect in his goodness give that which is good to his children?” So to see him as our Father is important. Then he says, “…which art in heaven…”
Dave: That’s right.
Sammy: You go from that love relationship to, “The one I’m in love with is the God who created this universe!” I mean, what that does to your heart… Some people say, “Well, it kind of gets boring.” You get that to there, and it ain’t boring anymore.
Dave: You know, when we really do begin to focus on the Lord in prayer, on who he is and not what we want, not on our prayer list and the things we’d like to see happen… When we focus on him… There have been times, Sammy (I know you’ve experienced this too) when I’ve come into the presence of God, begun to worship, and forgotten why I came. You literally forget what’s on your prayer list because you get so caught up in the majesty.
You know, those who say, “Well, it’s kind of boring,” have never really worshiped the God who’s so much bigger than anything that could demand our attention. So when it comes down to worship, we get caught up in who he is, and then we find ourselves absolutely committed to the God of prayer. When we’re committed to the God of prayer, we’ll become a people of prayer.
When we look at prayer as just a way of getting things, we’ll never give ourselves to that, but the God who answers prayer, the Father in heaven who loves us here on earth… It’s not just a “someday” sort of love. It’s a love right now that wants to cultivate that relationship.
Sammy: I want to get a little practical with this. You and I just get so excited about this, but I want to get a little practical with it because there are some tools that will help us. I was diagnosed with cancer about eight years ago, and a lot of people have been asking me, “Well, Sammy, how are you doing?” God has healed me. I’m great.
Everything is good, but during that time, I had surgery and then spent three months when I just met with God. There were two very practical things I did. God spoke to my heart and told me to do these two things. They were very helpful. The first thing I did was spend time just reading the Word. I read through the whole Bible. I was just reading the Word because…
How do you know who God is? How do you know what he’s like? Read the Bible. Then you’ll see him for who he is. The second thing was that I had some little earphones and a little iPod, and I had my worship music. I would just worship Jesus Christ and sing. Maybe that’s why Jesus said, “When you pray, go into your closet and close the door.”
Dave: He heard you sing.
Sammy: Right. He heard me sing. But just to worship… Some people don’t think singing is praying, but it is.
Dave: Oh, absolutely.
Sammy: It’s a great part of prayer and just worshiping like you’re talking about. I think those two tools are helpful. I don’t know if there is anything that has helped you to worship.
Dave: In particular, I think that when you take Scripture that focuses on who God is… One of the things I do every day is pray at least one Psalm, because so many of the Psalms (the majority)
are songs that are focused. They’re prayer songs that focus on who God is. Not all of them are, but the majority of them are, so I will use those to jumpstart my prayers in a sense.
I know a lot of people will say, “Look, I don’t know how to worship God aside from saying, ‘God, I worship you.'” Use the Psalms. Turn to Psalm 145. It’s a wonderful way to jumpstart your prayers. Simply read it back to God, and it will tell God you know who he is and you know that because you’re reading Scripture.
Sammy: Okay. I want to spend a good bit of time on that in another session, okay?
Dave: Okay.
Sammy: We’re going to close on this session, but I think the main thing all of you need to know is that you should spend time worshiping Jesus Christ. God inhabits the praises of his people. You spend time in prayer, worshiping him.

About Sammy Tippit Ministries

STM has been providing inspiration and help around the world for nearly 50 years. Sammy Tippit, founder and president, is a world renowned counselor, teacher and evangelist with experience serving and helping people in over 80 countries. Sammy provides materials that help people tackle a broad array of social, societal, psychological and spiritual issues. He is particularly passionate about making materials accessible to other countries around the world. Sammy is married to Debara “Tex” Tippit, and they have two children and five grandchildren.
Sammy Tippit Ministries is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization.
Contact: info@sammytippit.org

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