Guest Post: Intentional Praise Will Transform Your Soul by: Becky Harling
Since I’m not currently publishing issues of the magazine, I still want to highlight women who are making a difference and books that will touch your heart.
Here is a guest post from Becky Harling:
Praise changed me from being fearful, frantic, and insecure
to being a calm woman filled with passion and purpose.
The greatest adventure of my life began thirteen years ago, hours after I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Scared and stressed at the thought of a double mastectomy, worried about my kids and whether I would be alive to finish raising them, anxious and paralyzed over the thought of a year full of treatments, I decided to fast, pray, and beg God for healing. But when I told my mentor about my plan, she had another idea.
She challenged me: “Try spending 20 minutes praising God for five days.” At the time I thought, What a bizarre idea! I have just been diagnosed with cancer. The last thing I feel like doing is praising God. Shouldn’t I fast, pray and beg God for healing? Wouldn’t it be hypocritical to praise God when I don’t feel thankful?
After wrestling with my doubts, I decided to give praise a shot. After all, what did I have to lose? The first day, I got down on my knees early in the morning and turned on praise music. I remember praying, God, I’m here to praise you for 20 minutes. Don’t know how I’m gonna do that, but if you’ll help me I’ll try. The Holy Spirit was more than willing to help. He began to prompt my thinking with reasons to praise God. I praised God the Father for being almighty and faithful. I praised Jesus Christ for loving me and being my victor.
After my first day of praise, I decided to continue. Some mornings, I praised my way through the alphabet, worshipping God for all His different characteristics. Some mornings, I let the worship music prompt my praise. Some mornings, I went for a walk and praised God for the beauty of creation. Regardless of my feelings, I just praised obediently for those first days.
What I experienced in that brief time was so radical that I decided to continue. Over the last thirteen years since beginning intentional praise of God, I discovered that though praising God didn’t change my life circumstances, it changed me. As I continued the practice of private praise, God’s presence became more tangible, and I began to change into a more positive, confident, and secure woman. The transformation I have experienced is undeniable. Praise changed me from being fearful, frantic, and insecure to being a calm woman filled with passion and purpose.
Here’s the truth about praise: praising God is not a glib hallelujah when life is going well. Praising God is an intentional declaration that affirms our trust in God, even when life is falling apart. As a result of our intentional praise, our souls are transformed. I now believe that praising God and exalting Him—no matter what our circumstances—is pivotal to our spiritual transformation.
May I invite you to take the challenge? Try praising God. When you become intentional about praise, even in the midst of chaos, your life will be transformed.
The 30 Day Praise Challenge invites readers on the journey of praising God every day. Filled with tangible ideas, as well as song suggestions from the nation’s top artists, the book guides readers through the experience of praising God day by day. If you are ready for the adventure of a lifetime, take the challenge. I guarantee you will change!
Follow me on Twitter @beckyharling
When Becky isn’t writing, she is busy being wife to pastor Steve Harling, flying somewhere to share the message of freedom for women, still recovering from raising her four children, and diving into the joy of being with four grandchildren. She loves coffee and is convinced that if you drink four to five cups of coffee per day, you won’t struggle with memory loss in old age. To book Becky for speaking, you can reach her at beckyharling.com.