Sunday, August 27, 2017

All-Consuming Praises

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

All-Consuming Praises. Not All-Consumed Pastries.

The other morning I woke up thinking…donuts. All thought processes were pretty much completely consumed with all things donutty, sugar-coated, fat-filled and mmmmm. So much so that when I got to the coffee shop, I contemplated eating the top three rows of pastries. Also there were only three rows of pastries. Yes, I wanted all the pastries. All of them.

I think I’d just about convinced myself at that point that I could speak fluent Danish. Danish? Get it? And while I’m on the topic (excuse me, Hamlet), how could there ever be a melancholy Dane? Simply because…donuts.

Actually, I should mention that I knew the all-consuming donut-thinking was out of control even before I made it to the coffee shop. I figured it out when I was reading in Psalms and totally thought it said “pastries” instead of “praises.” Oh my.

“My heart is confident, God; I will sing; I will sing praises with the whole of my being,” (Psalm 108:1, HCSB). Praises. Not pastries. Most of the time, there are a gazillion distractions, sugar-loaded and otherwise, vying for my attention. It’s at the point of distraction that my prayer needs to urgently become: O Lord, let me be consumed with praising Your Name.

When commenting on the “confident heart” of Psalm 108:1, Charles Spurgeon said, “Though I have many wars to disturb me, and many cares to toss me to and fro, yet I am settled in one mind and cannot be driven from it. My heart has taken hold and abides in one resolve. Thy grace has overcome the fickleness of nature, and I am now in a resolute and determined frame of mind. I will sing and give praise.”

I will. I will! With “the whole of my being,” I will.

Half-hearted praise is not really praise at all. All through God’s Word we’re reminded that our whole heart—everything we think and have and do and say and everything we are—should be surrendered in worship of and praise to the God who is our all. David prays wholeheartedly in Psalm 9:1-2, “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High,” (ESV).

Our praise. It doesn’t need a lot of sugar-coating. It’s not even about putting together the perfect words. He doesn’t require fancy talk or special rituals. Just whole hearts. He wants a humble heart that recognizes who He is and what He’s done. “Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare Your praise. You do not want a sacrifice, or I would give it; You are not pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. God, You will not despise a broken and humbled heart,” (Psalm 51:15-17, HCSB).

So there’s one more great prayer to pray: “Lord, open my lips.” Here’s to making it a prayer for lips open for an all-consuming declaration of praises. And not an all-fat-included digestion of pastries.

All-Consuming Praises—not All-Consuming Pastries - @RhondaRhea (Click to Tweet)

Rhonda Rhea is a humor columnist for lots of great magazines, including HomeLife, Leading Hearts, The Pathway and more. She is the author of 10 nonfiction books, including How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take to Change a Person? and coauthors fiction with her daughter, Kaley Faith Rhea. She and her daughters host the TV show, That’s My Mom, for Christian Television Network’s KNLJ. Rhonda enjoys traveling the country speaking at all kinds of conferences and events. She and her pastor/hubs have five grown children and live in the St. Louis area.


  1. Beautiful. You have lifted my heart to praise him this morning. Thank you.

    1. What a lovely thing to say, Lori--you blessed me!

  2. What a fun, yet powerful post.
    "Open my lips, Lord!" That's a prayer we should all say daily.