In our last teaching, we looked at the Greek word for praise which gave us some insights into what praise is. Let us now reflect on that word study beginning with a simple definition of praise. It is when you give someone honor, glory, and respect with your mouth and by your actions because of what the person did or said.
If you remember from our word study, praise is to be a celebration. As with any celebration, it is joyous. Most celebrations involve many people and are often quite noisy. Celebrations are to be good times and full of smiles. Yet, how often do we see people praising without smiling? Some times we take praise too seriously. Do you feel the joy of the Lord when praising? You should have a sense of celebration. It shouldn’t be hard. It can be hard when we focus on ourselves and others instead of God. It can be hard when we reflect on our troubles instead of God’s goodness and greatness.
Praise is boasting in our God. Boasting is not done in a corner. Boasting is to be heard, if not, it is not boasting. Boasting in God is telling God and others how great He is. Yes, God can read our minds, and knows our heart, but he loves to hear us boast about Him with our lips. When we declare before others how good and great our God is, we are actually praising God in that moment.
Praise often involves some shouting (Shabach) because we are so excited about God. We often shout at a sporting event, but are unwilling to shout in praise. There were several occasions when God asked His people to shout. We are to give a victory cry as the Spirit of the Lord leads us.
Praise is a time of thanksgiving, not a time of telling God our troubles. When we set our hearts on thanking Him our troubles will seem small. When we thank Him, we will begin to rejoice and be glad. We are commanded to give thanks to the Lord.
I Thessalonians 5:18 – “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
One thing is sure in all of this. Praise is to be heard.
Psalms 66:8 – “Praise our God, all peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard;”
Whenever we give a person praise and thanks, we always say it out loud. We may think it is different with God because He knows our heart and mind, but it isn’t. As husbands, we often assume that our wife knows our mind and feelings towards her. While often they do know our mind and feelings towards them, this doesn’t mean they don’t want to hear it spoken. This is true with God as well. Also, when we praise God in the presence of others, this encourages them and builds them up in their faith and love for God.
God’s praise is to always be on our lips.
Psalms 34:1- “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.”
God doesn’t want us to be complainers. We are to praise Him in good times and bad times. If we praise Him all the time, naturally we will praise Him everywhere.
Psalms 113:3- “From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of
the Lord is to be praised.”
This verse clearly states that God is to be praised over the whole earth. We are to praise Him in church, at home, at work, at school and everywhere in between.
It is good to write down your expressions of praise.
The almighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, Jehovah God, our provider, God our deliverer, you are above all, there is none like you, Elshadai, the almighty God. I thank you for saving me, helping me every day, protecting me, strengthening me, dying for me, loving me, guiding me, and blessing me.
Now say what you have written down aloud and repeat it until you feel it comes from the heart. (You’ve just practiced praise.)
In closing, there are two kinds of praise. Direct praise which is when we praise him in prayer and song. Indirect praise which is when we tell others of how God is great and good or show God by the way we live.