Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.—PSALM 100:4 NIV
In Old Testament times, people went to the temple to meet with God. God’s presence resided there just once a year after the sacrifice had been made on the Day of Atonement, but people came many times a year for festivals and to offer sacrifices for sin. The gates were the entrance to the temple grounds, and through the gates were the courts. They were the outside area where the people gathered. Part of this area was dedicated to altars for sacrifices.
Now that God lives within us through His Holy Spirit, we don’t have to go to the temple or church to find Him. He
is always with us. How, then, should this verse impact our relationship with God now? When we go to Him in prayer, let’s consider starting with thanksgiving and moving into praise. Thanksgiving is thanking God for what He has done for us and how He has provided for us. Praise is identifying and acknowledging the characteristics of God, such as Creator, Healer, righteous, merciful, and loving.
We are commanded to give thanks and praise God’s name. As we do so, our worries, fears, confessions, and requests fall into their proper place.