Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving.
When I was a new to the faith and learning to pray some years ago, one of my mentors taught me that a great way to start your prayers is to begin by thanking God for all the things you are grateful for in your life. I use this practice just about every time I pray, and I’m starting to teach it to my kids, because there is something about starting a prayer off with thanks to God that gives me the right perspective. Thanking God first reminds me of how blessed I am and how generous God has been to me. Thanking God first reminds me of what needs I truly have, and desires that may need realigning. Thanking God first puts God in His rightful place and reminds me that it is not my power that sustains me, but His power. I have so much to be thankful for, and I am not naïve to the truth that all I have to be thankful for is an undeserved gift that God has blessed me with.
When Psalm 95:2 directs us to come into the presence of God with thanksgiving, I think it reiterates this practice. This psalm communicates that it is important, and can prepare us to experience the fullness of being in the presence of God. Thankfulness is the WD-40 that primes, un-jams, protects, and loosens the hardness of our hearts. Can we experience the power of God’s presence without thanking Him? Maybe, but like I mentioned earlier, the fruit of being thankful first creates in us a right heart. In turn, our worship comes from an overflow of that thankfulness. Thankfulness produces genuine worship, the type of worship God truly deserves. Let’s be a people who enter into the presence of God with thankfulness. He deserves the thanks and praise of His people.