The fourth chapter of The Hidden Life of Prayer by David McIntyre, contains instructions and encouragement for worshipping God in our prayer. McIntyre divides our “tributes of praise” into three categories:
- Acknowledgement of daily mercies, the “benefits which recur with so much regularity that they seem to us ‘common’ and ‘ordinary,’ which penetrate with golden threads the homespun vesture of our daily life.” These are things we barely notice, and yet, they are wonderful gifts from our good God and ought to be counted and remembered and included in our praise. “For the beauty of nature, the fellowship of the good, the tender love of home; for safe conduct in temptation, strength to overcome, deliverance from evil; for the generosity, the patience, the sympathy of God; and for ten thousand thousand unobserved or unremembered mercies, let us unweariedly blee His Holy Name.” We also should thank God for the difficult things that come into our lives because ” all things—even the trials—work together for our good.
- Thanksgiving for redemption, our acceptance by God in Christ. “The blood of Christ, the grace of the Spirit, the light of the Divine countenance, are ‘three jewels worth more than heaven’.”
- Contemplation of the divine perfection—adoring God for who he is. “[I]t is probable that to each sincere believer there are granted seasons of communion when, as one turns to the unseen glory, the veil of sense become translucent, and one seems to behole withing the Holiest the very Face and Froms of Him who died for our sins.”
With this chapter, I began to see why some consider this little book a classic. These divisions of worship in prayer are quite practical. I plan to use these three categories of “tributes of praise.” as reminders to give me direction when I pray.