I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High. Psalm 9:1-2
Importance of Praise
The Bible often encourages God’s people to praise the Lord. The writers of the Old Testament used three basic words to call the Israelites to praise: the word barak (which can also be translated “bless”); the word halal (from which we get “hallelujah,” meaning “praise the Lord”); and the word yadah (sometimes translated as “give thanks”).
the Bible’s first recorded song came after the Israelites had crossed the Red Sea. It was a song of praise and thanksgiving to God for the miracle of rescuing them from the Egyptian army (Exodus 15 and see v. 2). Later, Moses commanded the Israelites to praise God for his goodness in giving them the promised land (Deuteronomy 8:10). Deborah’s song specifically called the people to praise the Lord for victory over their enemy (Judges 5:9). David’s praise to God is recorded in the story of his life (2 Samuel 22:4, 47, 50 and 1 Chronicles 16:4, 9, 25, 35-36 and 29:20) and in the Psalm (the poems and songs) that he wrote (Psalm 9:1-2; 18:3; 22:23; 52:9 and 108:1, 3 and 145). Other palm writers challenge God’s people to live their lives in a way that brings praise and honor to God (Psalm 33:1-2; 47:6-7; 75:9 and 96:1-4; 100 and 150). In addition, the Old Testament prophets instructed God’s people to praise him (Isaiah 42:10 and 12; Jeremiah 20:13; Isaiah 12:1; Isaiah 25:1; Jeremiah 33:9; Joel 2:26 and Habakkuk 3:3).
The call to praise God is echoed, or repeated, throughout the New Testament as well. Jesus praised his Father in heaven (Matthew 11:25 and Luke 10:21). Paul expects all the nations to praise God (Romans 15:9-11 and Ephesians 1:3, 6 and 12) and James tells us to praise the Lord (James 3:9 and 5:13). And in the end, the book of Revelation describes a countless multitude of both people and angels praising God without end (Revelation 4:9-11; 5:8-14; 7:9-12 and 11:16-18).
Praising God is one of the main functions of angels (Psalm 103:20 and 148:2) and is the privilege of all God’s people-children (Matthew 21:16 and Psalm 8:2), youth and adults (Psalm 30:4; 135:1-2 and 19-21). God calls all nations to praise him (Psalm 67:3-5; 117:1; 148:11-13; Isaiah 42:10-12 and Romans 15:11). Everything that has breath is called to shout out the praise of God (Psalm 150:6). God even commands everything else that he has made in nature to praise him: the sun, moon and stars (Psalm 148:3-4 and Psalm 19:1-2); lighting, hail, snow and wind (Psalm 148:8); mountains, hills, rivers and seas (Psalm 98:7-8; 148:9 and Isaiah 44:23); all kinds of trees (Psalm 148:9 and Isaiah 55:12); and all kinds of living creatures (Psalm 69:34 and 148:10). Everything God created shows his glory and that he is worthy of all praise.
Methods of Praise
Praising God can be shown in many ways some of which include:
- Praise is one of the main elements in a congregational worship service (Psalm 100:4).
- Both in the church worship setting and in other places, the singing of psalms, hymns and spiritual songs is a way to express praise to God (Psalm 96:1-4; 147:1; Ephesians 5:19-20 and Colossians 3:16-17). Praise can be expressed with the mind of understanding (i.e., in known human languages) or with the spirit (i.e., in tongues, a spiritual prayer language).
- Musical praise can be expressed through various instruments, including horns and trumpets (1 Chronicles 15:28 and Psalm 150:3), wind instruments such as the flute (1 Samuel 10:5 and Psalm 150:40), stringed instruments such as the harp and lyre (1 Chronicles 13:8; Psalm 149:3 and 150:3) and percussion instruments such as tambourines and cymbals (Exodus 15:20 and Psalm 150:4-5).
- We can also communicate God’s praise by telling others about his wonderful acts. For example, having experienced God’s forgiveness, David was eager to tell others about what the Lord had done for him (Psalm 51:12-13 and 15). Other Bible writers urge us to declare God’s glory and praise in the congregation of God’s people (Psalm 22:22-25; 111:1 and Hebrews 2:12) and among the nations (Psalm 18:49; 96:3-4 and Isaiah 42:10-12). Peter calls on God’s chosen people to “declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). In other words, mission work-bringing Christ’s message to other nations and cultures-is a method of praising God.
- Living God’s glory and honor is a way to praise the Lord. Jesus reminds that if we let our “light” shine, people will see our good actions and give honor and praise to God (Matthew 5:16 and John 15:8). Paul observes that a life filled with the “fruit of righteousness”-Godly character and actions that show love for God and what he says is right-praises God (Philippians 1:11).
Reasons for Praise
Why do people praise the Lord?
- People praise God to express that they are aware of his presence and to celebrate the splendor of who he is. We sing of his power, glory, wonder and majesty as the One who created the heavens and the earth (Psalm 96:4-6; 145:3 and 148:13). We sing that we know the One who is to be honored for his holiness (Psalm 99:3 and Isaiah 6:3).
- People praise God because they have experienced God’s love and powerful work in their lives. He has given them forgiveness, salvation and personal companionship (Psalm 96:1-3; 106:1-2; 148:14; 150:2; Luke 1:68-75; 2:14 and 20). His people want to express gratitude for his unfailing mercy, grace and love (Psalm 57:9-10; 89:1-2; 117; 145:8-10 and Ephesians 1:6).
- People praise God for specific times he has delivered, rescued or healed them (Psalm 9:1-5; 40:1-3; 59:16; 124; Jeremiah 20:13; Luke 13:13; Acts 3:7-9).
- People praise God for his continual care and provision-both physically and spiritually.
All of these reasons, and more, are motivation for praising God with our song and testimony, witnessing and serving the God who is to be honored above all else (Psalm 68:19; 103; 147 and Isaiah 63:7).
Today’s Bible Readings:
Ezekiel 47-48, 1 Peter 2:11-3:7, Psalm 119:49-64 and Proverbs 28:12-13
Make a one-time donation
Make a monthly donation
Make a yearly donation
Choose an amount
Or enter a custom amount
Your contribution is appreciated.
Your contribution is appreciated.
Your contribution is appreciated.DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly