Posted by: Tom Gaddis | December 17, 2009


On a rainy night last week, a team of us from Father’s House stood out on the sidewalk of a Christmas event and invited total strangers to share any personal struggles needing prayer.

People showed amazing honesty in writing about their needs on prayer cards. Some were jobless or homeless; others had breast cancer, addictions, or were going through marital breakup. Others had experienced the unexpected death of a spouse, a child . . . and on and on.

Real people with real needs. No, desperate. Desperate needs. 

I don’t know about you, but when I’m immersed in the messiness of human heartbreak, tragedy—ministry to people—I sometimes find praise involuntarily rising out of the deep within me, “Thank you Father for rescuing me, sanctifying me, and keeping me.” Often this overflow is in whispered tones, while at other times it’s an out loud and simple, “Praise you Jesus.”

It never comes from feeling a sense of superiority or a “better than” attitude. No, these dear ones remind me that like them, I too have been in awful places and in desperate need of Him. And so I praise Him when I remember how he has rescued me—sometimes again and again.

So have you praised God for his rescuing work in your life today?  Or are you in one of those seasons of A.D.D.—Alleluia Deficit Disorder?

I like this Christmas meditation by St. Augustine. And while it’s not a spontaneous spill-over from our hearts, it very well may work like one of those cardio paddles you see on TV that jump-starts a heart. May our hearts start again flowing with His praises:

Rejoice, you just, it is the birthday of the Justifier.
Rejoice, you who are weak and sick; it is the birthday of the Savior, the Healer.
Rejoice, captives; it is the birthday of the Redeemer.
Rejoice, slaves; it is the birthday of the one who makes you lords.
Rejoice, free people; it is the birthday of the one who makes you free.
Rejoice, all Christians; it is the birthday of Christ.

Merry Christmas and praise to the Lord!



  1. lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub

  2. The Lord has done much rescuing in my life, physically and emotionally. I can relate to people in a wide variety of desperate situations and I do praise Him deeply for the things He’s done and is still doing in me. But sometimes the seemingly ordinary things can cause praise to erupt out of me. Like when I flip on the heater in the car and instant heat comes blasting out, I find myself yelling quite loudly, “Oh thank you, God! For this car, for the warmth, etc…” I usually startle the kids but then they laugh and say, “Mom, you’re silly.” Those strong feelings come up because there are many people who can’t flip a switch and have instant heat and the fact that God allows that for us humbles me and I can only react with loud, loving praises.

  3. I can see you, hear you doing this! tg

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