Praise Him Anyway

Praise Him Anyway…

Psalm 96:1-3 “Oh sing to the LORD a new song!  Sing to the LORD all the earth.  Sing to the LORD, bless His name, Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.”

The other day, I was listening to Pastor Bill’s sermon on prayer while walking on the treadmill and as I listened, God brought to mind Ava’s final days in the hospital.

For months, my family had prayed and believed the Lord was going to miraculously heal Ava.  We laid hands on her as a family, taking turns praying over her.  We anointed her with oil and prayed.  We cried out loud and silently, day and night, begging God for her healing.  There were times I could even be found marching around Ava’s room, quoting scripture and almost shouting my prayers, like a mad woman. 

During this time, Ava and I were both struggling.  We knew God could heal her body in a single breath.  We had seen Him do it before, but we couldn’t understand why our prayers seemed to go unheard and completely unanswered now.  I had explained to Ava months before, that God was not a genie in a bottle and there to grant our every wish and every prayer, but this – what my baby girl was enduring every single day – was almost too much for my heart to bear and my mind to comprehend.

The day before Ava died, my family and I were gathered around her bed, crying and praying.  Ava hadn’t spoken or opened her eyes in over 36 hours and it was clear her body was shutting down.  As we all held onto Ava, I prayed out loud reminding God that just as Jesus raised Lazarus and Jairus’s daughter from the dead, we were still believing He could raise Ava too. 

I remember telling God that if He was going to turn the situation around, now would be a good time because it looked like we were in the b0ttom of the 9th inning.  And then as the tears streamed down my face, I looked up at everyone in the room and asked the question, “When God doesn’t answer your prayers the way you want Him to, what do you do?”

Almost in unison, each of us answered, “you praise Him anyway.”

You praise Him anyway… 

You praise Him in the moments when your heart is shattered and you praise Him when your joy is overflowing.  You praise God when you are on the mountaintop and when face down in the darkest valley.  When you understand life and even when you don’t.  You praise Him when your bank account is full and when you have less than a dollar left to get by.

You praise Him in the storm and in the rainbows.  In the reunions and in the missing.  You praise Him with every new birth and like our family, you praise Him even in death.  In all ways and in all things, praise Him.

Although God did not answer our prayers the way we wanted Him to, He did answer our prayers, giving Ava a full and glorious healing, once and for all.  I take comfort in knowing Jesus was there, waiting to welcome my baby home, with arms wide open.  And so today, even in the quiet, even in the missing, even when it’s hard, I choose to praise Him anyway.  It’s a decision made not based on feelings but based on knowing who God is, having a relationship with Him and standing firm on His truths. 

The question is: when life gets tough, will you, choose, to praise Him anyway…

Psalm 95:6-7

Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.  For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture, And the sheep of His hand.


Melissa Daniels