I Will…

(Psalm 145: 1-7, NLT)

I will exalt you, my God and King,
    and praise your name forever and ever.
I will praise you every day;
    yes, I will praise you forever.
Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!
    No one can measure his greatness.

Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts;
    let them proclaim your power.
I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor
    and your wonderful miracles.
Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue;
    I will proclaim your greatness.
Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness;
    they will sing with joy about your righteousness.

There is great power in the words that we speak to ourselves.  As silly as it can seem, there is a lot of effectiveness in taking time to speak affirmations to yourself and being intentional in your thoughts.  How you talk to yourself can affect your entire day, and furthermore…your entire life.  This is why we have to be purposeful with our thoughts.

As many of you know, I am an educator, and a big part of our lesson framework is using what we call “I will” statements to preface each lesson.  We used to use “I can” statements, but this year we modified it to “I will.”  It doesn’t seem like a very significant change really, but even just that one word changes the entire feel of the lesson.  The children used to end each lesson with an “I can” and that wasn’t always the case with each child.  Some of them couldn’t.  So now, they begin with a mindful, intentional statement that begins with “I will.”  It’s almost like a promise to oneself.

You may be wondering where I’m going here.  How does this pertain to our spiritual lives at all?

Most of the time, we know our own capabilities…or at least we think we do.  We know what we can do, and that’s how we operate in our daily lives…pushing all of the things that we know we can do until later.  Essentially, we are spiritual procrastinators!  We are busy, we are distracted, and though we may be taking time out each day to love on God a little, are we being intentional in how we approach our relationships with Him?

We need to change the way that we think and talk to ourselves.  Instead of “I can” exalt the Lord, “I can” praise Him every day, “I can” meditate on His splendor, or “I can” proclaim His greatness – we should be following David’s example of a purpose-driven life of prayer and thanksgiving by saying I will, I will, I will, I will…and then doing it…right now…because we really aren’t promised a later!

Such a seemingly simple change to make, but it can alter your prayer life and your relationship with God in a mighty way.  We should be ever growing and always changing for the better as we walk with the Lord, becoming more passionate and driven as the years go by.  However, sometimes we get bogged down, that inner fire diminishes to nothing more than a tiny glowing ember, and we are simply moving from moment to moment – grace to grace.  It happens.  That’s just what life does to us sometimes, because of sin and imperfection, but this is the exact point in our lives when we have to decide to make a change and rekindle the flame.

So say to yourself today, and every day:

 I will exalt you, my God and King,
    and praise your name forever and ever.
I will praise you every day;
    yes, I will praise you forever.

 I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor
    and your wonderful miracles.

 I will proclaim your greatness.

Make these promises, and keep them.  Be forward thinking and intentional.  When you say to God, I will, I think you’ll find that a great sense of commitment will set in, and you will become more engaged with our Heavenly Father than ever before.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, I love You so much, but sometimes my actions do not always show that to You.  I pray that You will help me to be more committed and mindful in my prayer life, so that I am always maturing and growing closer to You.  Instead of thinking about what I can do, help me to proclaim what I will do.  Amen.

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