Did you know in the year 2022, NFL attendance by year shows that a total of 18.82 million people were present in the regular season? At concerts, football games and other big sporting events, we see extraordinary scenes of exuberant enthusiasm.
There are times I sit and reflect on how far people travel and re-arrange their calendars to make sure they get to as many events as possible. When something is a priority, we make sure it happens.
Together, people cheer, shout, and encourage others. Together they are feeling joy and coming together in community.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a good sporting event or concert; yet all these should pale in significance to worshipping God.
In singing hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
Have you seen the YouTube video “Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus?” If you haven’t, I encourage you to click the link below to watch it!
Over 55 million people have now watched the video, with almost 30,000 comments, 185,000 thumbs up and NO thumbs down. It has more views than the number of people going to those pro football games in 2022!
Now that is something to praise!
The video is of unsuspecting shoppers who get a surprise while eating lunch. A young woman, who appears to be talking on the phone and enjoying her lunch in a food court, stands up. She begins singing the "Hallelujah Chorus." Eventually, all around her, several prearranged opera singers stand up one by one and join in.
The word hallelujah means "praise the Lord," and is an invitation to worship. What a beautiful sight to see people worshipping and praising together in a mall food court filled with shoppers during Christmas.
Each time I watch it, it brings God into the depth of my soul as I too feel like I am praising and worshipping right along with them.
My one word for this year is Choose Prayer. I have put an intentional focus on God’s command to pray.
"Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 (NIV)
I have found that when I spend more time in prayer, it leads me to a place of worship and praise. My hallelujahs becomes a direct reflection of the thankfulness I have in my heart.
Choosing hallelujah takes the focus off me and puts it back on God, where it belongs. It reminds me that life is not about me, which takes me to a place of humility.
Hallelujah leaves within me no room for complaining and negativity. It takes me to that place of thankfulness for all He has done for me and all that He endured for me and my salvation.
Hallelujah makes the enemy flee. It pushes back the darkness and lets His light shine in and through me.
Even in my weakest places, in my hardest moments, I want to praise the Lord. I want to thank Him for what I know for sure is true: the truth of His word.
"God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."
John 4:24 (ESV)
I praise Him because I trust Him with everything!
So remember, just as you would intentionally plan and re-arrange your schedule to attend your next event and find yourself cheering, shouting and encouraging at said event, remember that God wants you to be intentional in praising Him. To choose hallelujah.
Friends, I encourage you to be intentional in Choosing Hallelujah! When you choose to praise the Lord, your life will change in extraordinary ways as you begin to feel His presence in the depth of your soul.
With love and joy,