Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. (Ps. 107:1)

FANNY CROSBY WAS A PROLIFIC hymn writer in the late 1800s and early 1900s. She wrote the familiar hymn “Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, Our Blessed Redeemer!” The verses are filled with words of praise and adoration for Christ. Interestingly, Fanny Crosby had been blind since infancy and in nineteenth-century England, life could not have been easy. She could have chosen to be bitter and angry, yet her hymns are uplifting and joyful.

Life brings varied circumstances for each of us. Being a Christian does not shield us from the troubles of the world. Psalm 107 describes many of the troubles we face today. We read phrases like “wandered in wastelands,” “hungry,” “thirsty,” “lives that ebbed away,” “trouble,” “distress,” and “darkness.” The psalmist also reminds us that despite the circumstances we still have reason to praise God. This psalm also includes words such as “redeemed,” “enduring love,” “wonderful deeds,” “satisfies the thirsty,” “delivered from their troubles”—words that remind us of God’s faithfulness. It is God’s faithfulness, then, that inspires our praise.

Like Fanny Crosby, we can choose to praise and thank God. Beginning our prayers with praise and thanksgiving produces an atmosphere of positive thinking. It sets our frame of mind for the rest of our prayer. Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!

To produce a positive attitude, begin your prayers with praise.

Cheryl A. Paden has been married for over thirty-seven years to Richard, and they have three wonderful sons and live in Fremont, Nebraska.