Psalm 1:1–2 says, “I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will show forth all thy marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee; I will sing praises to thy name, O thou most High.” What is praise? The dictionary defines praise as: “To commend the worth of, express approval or admiration of, to laud the glory of God.”
The Bible tells us as God’s people to praise the Lord. The word hala or “Hallelujah,” simply means to praise the Lord. It is amusing to hear people, especially non-believers, say “hallelujah.” They don’t realize that they are praising the Lord. For the Christian, it is our duty to do just that. We are to give Him praise not only in the good times, but in the bad times as well.
He inhabits our praises; He loves us and wants us to praise Him. Regardless of the situation that we are in or the troubles that are besetting us, praising Him shows that we love Him, and our praise is coming from the heart. It is also a testament to the world that no matter what we are facing, we love God.
When the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, they began to praise God for seeing them safely across, in order to escape the Egyptian army. They also praised Him for giving them the Promised Land. The Old Testament is full of praises to God. A few scriptures that you can read are Judges 5:9 and 2 Samuel 22:4, 47, and 50. David wrote several psalms showing his desire to praise God: Psalm 18:3, Psalm 22:23, and Psalm 52:9 just mention a few.
When you are in need of a boost in your spirit, I would encourage you to read the entire Book of Psalms. It will refresh you in ways that no man can. Man doesn’t have the words to bring us comfort as God’s Word does. Man’s word is just that—man’s word. God’s Word was inspired by the Holy Spirit, which brings us the comfort that we need.
The New Testament also tells us to praise the Lord. We read in Matthew 11:25 and Luke 10:21 that even Jesus gave praise to God. The Apostle Paul in Romans 15:9–11 told us to give praise to God when he said in verse 11, “Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles.” Not only do we praise God, but the angels in Heaven do as well. God calls every nation to praise Him (Psalm 67:3–5; Psalm 117:1). In short God calls all people throughout the world to praise Him.
The entire universe is even called to praise God (Psalm 148). God has not left anything or anyone out of the command to praise Him. Why is it so difficult for us to grasp this simple command from God? Simply put, we just don’t do it. Why? We either don’t think He is worthy of praise due to circumstances in our lives, or we just could care less about it.
Another reason we don’t praise Him is we may not know how to, or you may feel that He won’t hear you. If you are a Christian and are sincere in your praises, He will hear you. All you need to do is put your trust in God and have faith that He will hear you. The Holy Spirit will guide you in your prayer time and praises to God.
Praise takes place in several different ways. Psalm 100:4 says that we are to “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise. Be thankful unto him and bless His name.” A church setting is one place to praise the Lord, or a Bible study group, or just being alone.
We not only praise with our tongue, but we give praise in song with or without instruments. Another way to give praise is telling others what God has done for us by saving us, by healing us, or by some other blessing that He has given us. In 1 Peter 2:9, Peter calls upon us to praise God for calling us out of darkness and into His marvelous light. We once were in darkness, but by the shed blood of Jesus we are now in the light.
That alone is cause enough to praise God. Philippians 1:1 says, “Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, others will see our lives by the good works that we are doing. Then they, too, will ask how to get what you have. This will open the door for you to lead others to Christ. This is our way of praising God for His saving grace.
If that isn’t enough to praise God for, then I don’t know what else it would take. Praise God for creation, His holiness, His unfailing love, mercy, and grace. When you need a reason to praise Him, remember those things that He has done for you. Jesus, the second person in the Trinity accepted praise as God.
Luke 19:37–39 states, “And when he was come nigh even now at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen. Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, master, rebuke thy disciples.” Notice what Jesus said in verse 40, “And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.”
Jesus had it correct. If we don’t praise God, then the stones will cry out in our place. I really don’t want stones to praise God in my place, do you? If you don’t know the Lord, I pray that you will accept Him this day, and give Him the praise for His saving grace.