Praising God - The First Thing!
Do you know that praising God is the best thing to do first before anything else? Have you ever been in a situation that you feel all alone? Or have you encountered a difficult situation in your life and you don't know what to do, like losing your job or suffering the loss of someone very close to your heart? Consider the good times such as when you receive a raise from your boss or earn high marks at school? What do you usually do during these moments? Praising God makes every circumstance of our lives complete, essential, and eminently worthwhile.
Webster defines the word praise as to say good things about and it is synonymous to words such as admire, commend, extol, honor, and worship. A definition of Christian praise is the joyful thanking and adoring of God, the celebration of His goodness and grace.1 This simply implies that the act of praising is rightfully due to God alone.
Praising God - Why?
Why is praising God important? The reasons are countless. First, God deserves to be praised and He is worthy to receive our praise:
- "For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods" (Psalm 96:4).
- "Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom" (Psalm 145:3).
- "I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies" (2 Samuel 22:4).
- "You are worthy, our LORD and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being" (Revelation 4:11).
Second, praising God is useful and favorable for us. By praising God, we are reminded of the greatness of God! His power and presence in our lives is reinforced in our understanding. "Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing praise to his name, for that is pleasant" (Psalm 135:3).
Third, praise discharges strength in faith, which causes God to move on our behalf. "From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger" (Psalm 8:2). Praising God also transforms the spiritual environment that we have. 2 Chronicles 5:13-14 clearly illustrates the alteration that happened when the Levites gave praise and thanks to the Lord and the temple was filled with a cloud signifying the glory of God. "The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang: 'He is good; his love endures forever.' Then the temple of the LORD was filled with a cloud, and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the temple of God."
Fourth, God inhabits the atmosphere of praise. Psalm 22:3 says, "But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel" (KJV). If we want to see a clear manifestation of God's blessings and grace, all we need to do is to praise Him with all our heart, our mind, and our soul.
Praising God - Who and When?
Who is to praise God? "Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD," states Psalm 150:6.
- "I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips (Psalm 34:1)."
- "Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands" (Psalm 63:3-4).
- "Praise the LORD, all you servants of the LORD who minister by night in the house of the LORD. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the LORD" (Psalm 134:1-2).
Praising God - How to Praise and Worship God
How is praising God possible? Singing songs and hymns, clapping our hands, even jumping for joy…the list is endless. We can give glory and praise to our God with the use of our physical bodies, with our hearts and minds, and with our deeds. There are many ways to praise God! No matter how you praise and worship God, it should result in an awe of God's power, love, and grace for all of us!
1Definition from the NIV Bible
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