Have you ever wondered why people talk about “praising the Lord” and “I just feel like giving praise to God!” and other such terms? Is this merely a part of their creed or religious ritual or is there truly more to this than is often expressed?
I did a word study of the word “praise” and one definition in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is the following: “To glorify (a god or saint) especially by the attribution of perfections”. The Book of Psalms, which contains 150 such song/poems mostly written by the Psalmist David, tells us hundreds of times to “praise the Lord” and “let everything that has breath praise the Lord”! Truly our God is perfect and deserves to be praised!
Why does God want to be praised? Are there any benefits for us as human beings for praising Him?
The answer to the first question is simple: He created us, is perfect in every way, and longs for His creation to give back to Him in some way, communicating gratitude and thanksgiving. He knows we don’t have to do this; in fact Luke 19:40 tells of Jesus answering those who were upset with the people blessing him and crying out to Him as He rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” (ESV) This verse proves that although God can command inanimate objects or creatures to praise Him, He chooses not to force human beings to do so. That is exactly the reason our praises to Him bring so much joy to the heart of God…because we do not have to do so!
The blessings as a result of praising God are innumerable! When we give praise even in trying situations, it releases the hand of the Almighty to work on our behalf. It frees our innermost spirit being from the hatred or anger because of circumstances, often beyond our control, to joy and forgiveness, because one cannot praise the Lord and be bitter at another person or upset about some event in our lives! If we truly praise God with grateful hearts just because of who He is, we then can place each situation into His capable hands, trusting Him to work on our behalf. By truly being grateful, thanking and praising Him, and then obeying His voice, He will then lead us to the next step and each day with Him will truly be an adventure. Taking matters into our own hands, blaming God instead of praising Him, and trying to work out the situation by our own strength is really futile and counter-productive. True praise gives the situation to God and trusts Him to bring about the outcome that will be most glorifying to Him!
The famous songwriter of yesteryear, Fanny J. Crosby, though blind from birth, still penned literally thousands of songs of praise and worship to God in her lifetime, many of which we still sing today! One of my favorites is “Praise Him! Praise Him!” If she could praise Him, why can’t I do that? Please listen to my arrangement of this hymn in a jazz style arrangement I did some years ago, along with a few friends. I hope you will enjoy it! And remember, “Always be a worshipper, because He loves to hear your praises!”