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By Lee Banios – Troy, Ohio

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t expect God or Jesus to show up in my life. I anxiously await their guidance.

There are days when life is tough and days when life is so smooth. I am like many of you–I keep my eyes, heart and mind focused on the Lord in all that I do.

“But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29 KJV

I consider it a monumental honor to be able to repay God’s love, guidance, refreshing and encouragement in my life; not that we must ever repay anything, since it has all been bought with a price. Thank you, Jesus!

Life has its ups and downs. Ecclesiastes 3 says there is a time for many things, and my life has had many.

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…” Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV

In the Private Space

I am forever thankful for the relationship that we can so easily access with our heavenly Father and our brother Jesus.

As a little girl I praised and worshipped in revival tents with my grandfather present. As a child, going to the altar in my childlike mind meant I was closer to God. Little did I know that was reality.

There is a private space only you are in when you praise and worship and a peace that truly passes all understanding.

“Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6

From the Land to the Sea

I didn’t actively express praise from 12-years-old until around 2014.

This farm girl from Indiana moved with family to California, and a series of changes began. Praise and worship went off my radar mainly due to the culture shock of going from farming to surfing.

In my mid-twenties, I moved to Colorado, where I became a rock climber. That lasted a few years, and then I moved to Maine, bought a Harley motorcycle and traveled on that for a while.

A few years later I became ill, recovered, and praise and worship entered my life again through a dear friend there in Maine.

I had known this before, but this time was different. I had matured, and praise took on a new reality to me. I experienced such a joyful, peaceful, thankful heart.

My illness almost cost my life, but as I woke up in the hospital one day from a deep sleep, my heart of gratitude took over completely.

A Miracle of Healing

It was truly a miracle how God saved me that day. I sat on the side of the hospital bed and began to think “praise.” Believers came to visit, and we glorified God together.

“My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.” Psalms 57:7 KJV

I saw the grace in my life, and I was going to honor that free grace.

“To the praise and glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” Ephesians 1:6 KJV

My friend and I got together one day, playing praise music, expressing our own individual worship and praise. It brought such joy, such peace, such hunger to honor my Father for all the years he had put up with me.

I had visions of being in the ocean when the board hit my head, climbing a mountain on a rainy day on slick rock, driving down a country road somewhere in Arizona on my Harley and the vision of being in the hospital.

My heart was so overwhelmed with thankfulness how God had protected me over the years. My younger childhood was just as dangerous, like swinging from tires into the Ohio River with no adult around.

Thank goodness our Father looks on the heart of his people and not how goofy we can be.

“My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.” Psalms 73:26 KJV

I am truly thankful for all my experiences, whether they were dramatic or not. They taught me to press on and enjoy every minute of my relationship with God and his Son.

There is no better place to be than in the bubble of their presence. Worship and praise do that for me—a place that is exclusively tender, peaceful, full of life, quieting all outside noise.

That’s our life in God’s kingdom! How glorious is that?

The Sweetest Atmosphere

Praise and worship set the sweetest atmosphere on this side of our eternity to come. Experience it for yourself in your own way.

Do it alone. Be genuine. Be you.

God sees your heart and He will bless you in many ways you never dreamed of.

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: Therefore, my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.” Psalms 28:7 KJV

I have seen so many blessings in my life through my expressions of worship and praise. It gets us through the most difficult times and gives us a place to be that no one else has ever experienced in quite the same way.

It is all about relationship with the kingdom.

God bless you all. Have a peaceful, joyful journey on your praise and worship adventures.

Lee is a mother of three and a nana of seven. She is a gardener and a businesswoman. To hear more of her testimonies, watch Lee’s Sunday teaching Testimonies: Stories of Kingdom Character