Prayers of Praise
Many of us pray when we want to ask God for something either for ourselves or someone else. Sometimes it is difficult to just give compliments to God. Prayers of praise give praise to God for being good, for the mystery and majesty of God. Prayers of praise can be a challenge for us to think about God in terms of someone who deserves our praise. It forces us to not take God for granted. Prayers of praise reflect our own attitude and ability to recognize others for their goodness, especially our ability to just praise God for being God.
Try for a week to offer only prayers of praise when you gather for meals or other events. Use phrases such as: "God, you are good and wonderful. We praise you." "God, we praise you for the mystery that is you." "God, we believe that you are holy and awesome." "We praise you for your majesty, O God." Be creative and make up some of your own.
As you practice giving praise to God, also practice giving praise to each other. Look for opportunities to compliment one another for qualities that are unique to each person as well as for what they do. Be sincere. When you receive a compliment, thank the person giving it.
After trying a time for giving praise to God and each other, take time to talk about how it felt. Was it hard to not ask God for something when you prayed? How did it feel to receive compliments from others? Were you embarrassed? Were you able to receive a compliment graciously? Were you able to offer compliments to others with sincere affection? If not, why was it hard?
As a family or household, write a prayer of praise that you could use from time to time when you are gathered for a meal or other event. It could be in the form of a litany with a response such as those suggested in Activity One above. It could be in the form of a poem, a song, or just a brief paragraph. Be creative. If you have lots of ideas, write more than one and alternate the use of them.