BIBLE READING:Psalm 98

SERMON

How have you encouraged others to pray?

One of the easiest ways to share the gospel with others is to tell them you will pray for them (of course, be sincere and follow through). If youíre bold, ask the person youíre going to pray for, to pray for you. If they agree, they have taken their first steps of faith, for prayer is an exercise of faith.

Prayer can be contagious. I pray for you and you pray for me. It creates a bond between people and commits people to God. But praying for someone is only the first step. The next step in faith is praise, acknowledging God as the Lord. When we encourage others to praise God in Christ, then we are truly encouraging them to have faith.

Psalm 98 is a perfect example of mixing praise with encouragement.

Verses 1b-4 set the tone with an imperative to ďSing a new songĒ for Godís power and deeds. Victory, remembrance of the covenant, and universal reputation were the results of Godís activity among his people. Verses 7-9 commanded nature itself to give praise for Godís control over the cosmos and his justice. The common thread between the beginning and end was the order to praise God; the difference was the audience (the nations in verses 2, 3b then nature in verses 7-9).

The core of the psalm is an encouragement to praise. By including the phrase ďall the earth,Ē the psalmist included the universe in the call to worship. In this way, praise had a cosmic dimension.

Prayer can be contagious. Praise is contagious. Praise God. Encourage others to praise God. Encourage everyone and everything to praise our Maker. Praise God in Christ!

Invite one person to pray with you this week. In you prayer, praise God for his goodness and love.

Acknowledgement: Pastor Larry Broding