How To:, New Lives, Thoughts

What Does Praise Look Like?

Let’s start with the definition of the word praise, that seems like a good place to start. Praise is the commendation bestowed on a person for his personal virtues or worthy actions. To see examples of this we simply have to look to the scriptures. Deuteronomy 10:21 describes this perfectly, “Praise Him–He is your God, and you have seen with your own eyes the great and astounding things He has done for you.” I don’t know if I’ve ever seen this verse before today, but it fits perfectly.

Praise can be anything really, even the smallest prayer of gratefulness can be praise. According to 1 Peter 4:11, “…so that in all things praise may be given to God through Jesus Christ.” Essentially every aspect of our lives is to be a response of praise to our God. That’s kinda crazy to think about; literally, everything we do and say and think should be to His glory. I know for me I have a long way to go before I reach this point. But we can praise Him for our continual sanctification process. We praise Him because He is growing our sense of praise. Think about that for a second.

We can’t fully grasp praise though without first understanding the goodness of our God. His attributes are the basis of our praise; without his perfect, holy attributes we would have very little to praise. Psalms 100 is a great passage to reflect on God’s loving attributes.

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.”

There is such a sense of peace that comes to me through this chapter. We as Christians are His people, under His infinite care, forever. This is praise; the realization of His greatness.

His goodness is the main reason for our praise to Him. We look through the scriptures and see how God has provided for His children. No matter how the Israelite’s rebelled against Him, He was there, gently (or not so gently) guiding them back to His protective arms. We see the constant reminders of His power throughout the scriptures. Everywhere in the Bible, we see the glorious reminders of who our God is. His love, His protection, His righteousness are evident in almost every passage we read. We praise Him simply because He is the only one who deserves it.

 “Sing to the Lord all the earth; proclaim His salvation day after day. Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; He is to be feared above all gods. Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!”1

Most importantly he commands it throughout the scriptures. In Psalm 117 He states it clearly, “Praise the Lord, all nations; Laud Him, all peoples! For His lovingkindness is great toward us, and the truth of the Lord is everlasting. Praise the Lord!” Without Him and His loving hand, we would literally not be here. That honestly should be the ultimate reason that we praise Him. Without Him I have nothing.

Our praise comes out of a heart thankfulness. When we see His work in our lives and think about how He has saved us from our sin, all we can do is praise Him.

“…they do not cease to say ‘holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God, the almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.’ And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders {the church} will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne saying, ‘Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”2

So seeing all these reasons to praise and worship Him, how do we do it? Again we have to look to the Bible and see what it has to tell us.

  1. Prayer is one of my favorite ways to praise Him. I believe that we must daily remind ourselves of who God is; His amazing attributes. His holiness, His mercy, and His righteousness are just a few of His attributes that we must not forget. I’ve found that when I pray I am much more aware of who my God is. We must remind ourselves of His love for us. When I think about His love for me it pushes me to be the woman that God would want me to be. Who He is is my greatest motivation.
  2. So ok, God’s awesome and mighty and great, but how do we know that? We know everything about our God by His creation and through His Word, the Bible. We must read and understand the Bible to know who our God is. He has graciously given us His very words, so why would we not read them?
  3. The final recommendation I have is to journal. Not one of those silly little journals that 5th-grade girls have, but one that is important. In my Bible study group I challenged all of my ladies to start a journal over Christmas break (we’ll see how it goes!) But the goal of your journal is to capture all of the moments when has worked in your life. It’s kinda like having a time capsule that you can look back on and remember all of the good things that God has worked out in your life. For example, in my journal, I wrote all the things that I love about Karl, my husband, and when I get angry or frustrated I look back over all of those good things. The same can be done with our God.

“You have loosened my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, that my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.”3

I pray that you are re-energized in your walk with our Lord. Let His praise never leave your lips!

Redeemed by the King

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  1. 1 Chronicles 16:23-25,31
  2. Revelation 4:8b-11
  3. Psalms 30:11-12

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