My soul, praise Yahweh, and all that is within me, praise His holy name. My soul, praise the Lord, and do not forget all His benefits.
Psalm 103:1 HCSB
Moms In Prayer International (MIPI), a ministry encouraging and equipping moms to pray for their children and schools, first introduced me to praise as a part of prayer.
Praise changed the way I began my prayers. MIPI taught me to begin each prayer with a moment of praise based on an attribute of God’s character from Scripture. What I found as I began praising God was the encouragement He longs to give us through prayer. It is as if whatever I praise Him for — goodness, love, faithfulness — He reflects that truth straight back to my heart saying, “Yes. That’s who I am.”
Praising God in prayer strengthens my faith in who He is.
For me, praising God happens in song. Most mornings as I leave sleep and begin to awaken there is a song floating through my head. I’ve come to realize now if too many mornings go by without some type of song, I’m forgetting an important part of prayer—praise. Just this morning I awoke to: “He’s a good, good Father, it’s who you are, who you are.”
When I can’t find the words to pray or focus. When tough times surround or I’m just in a cranky mood. Praise through song reminds me of who God is and in the midst of music He lifts me up.
Many people confuse praise with giving thanks, but they are two different actions. Praise is not thanking God for what he has done for you; praise is celebrating who God is. You know the difference between being praised and thanked when it happens to you. You are thanked when you have done something for someone and your action has been appreciated. In our culture saying Thank you is an expectation of common courtesy and many are offended if they are not thanked. Praise happens when you receive a compliment for just being yourself or for your talents. You aren’t trying to impress anyone, people just notice and praise you. You were so kind in that situation. Your eyes are beautiful. You look great today. Praise usually catches us by surprise, yet always builds our confidence.
Praising God is the same. In the Old Testament the Hebrew word often translated as praise is halal. Halal means to boast in, praise, celebrate, and glorify (Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon). The time of praise in prayer is time given to boasting about God, celebrating His awesome unique character. It is time to enjoy God as God. But, does He need us to praise Him? No. He has a whole host of heavenly beings continually singing His praise.
The heavens praise your wonders, Lord, your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones. —Psalm 89:5 NIV
Does God deserve praise? Absolutely! When we praise God we show Him we have the proper attitude regarding who He is. Through praise and adoration we demonstrate our understanding of His worth.
For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.
—1Chronicles 16:25 NIV
We are called to praise God. In fact, all living creatures are called to praise God.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
—Psalm 150:6 ESV
As with most things God wants us to do, it is for our own good. Praising God increases our understanding of who He is and gives us confidence in our relationship with Him. Praise helps build faith.
In God, whose word I praise — in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? —Psalm 56:4 NIV
Praising God makes us feel good.
Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him! —Psalm 147:1 NIV
Praise helps us realize God’s presence.
…in unison when the trumpeters and the singers were to make themselves heard with one voice to praise and to glorify the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice accompanied by trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and when they praised the Lord saying, “He indeed is good for His lovingkindness is everlasting,” then the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud… for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.
—2Chronicles 5:13-14 NASB95
Praise helps us enjoy God’s presence.
I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.
—Psalm 9:1-2 NLT
Praising God lifts our spirits out of depression.
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God. —Psalm 42:5-6 NRSV
Now it’s your turn. Look up and read Psalm 71:23. What benefits of praise do you find in this verse?
No matter the circumstance, praise God — Creator, Savior, Redeemer, Almighty, Most High — He deserves it! And your faith will benefit from it.
Talk It Out
Talk it over with yourself:
How do you feel when you receive praise?
Does it matter who praises you?
Talk it over with God:
Ask God to reveal His character to you and give you a heart of praise.
As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.
Psalm 71:14 NIV
Exercise Your Faith
Sing a song of praise. Maybe it is a song you learned as a child or a hymn you sing in church. Turn on your local Christian radio station today or listen to K-LOVE online. Or click HERE to listen to one of Stacy’s favorite praise songs on YouTube: Hillsong’s Forever Reign.
And the ___________________ of _______________ will save
the _________ who is _____________, and the ______________ will
_______________ him up. _________ if he has ___________________
__________, he will be _________________. ___________ 5:15