- Our expression of faith, humility and giving adoration to God;
- It is an act of giving thanks to God;
- It is an act of giving glory to God;
- It is a declaration of victory.
Praise transports us into the realm of the supernatural. "Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance." (Psalm 89:15)
There are many actions involved with praise to God such as verbal expressions of adoration and thanksgiving, singing, playing instruments, shouting, dancing, lifting or clapping our hands. But true praise is not "merely" going through these motions. Jesus spoke about the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, whose worship was only an outward show and not from the heart. "These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me." (Matthew 15:8) Genuine praise is a matter of humility and sincere devotion to the Lord from within, and it is also a lifestyle.
God delights in the love and devotion of His children. He eagerly awaits the fragrance of our affections, desiring to manifest His sweet presence and power in our midst. "God is looking for true worshipers to worship the Father in Spirit and in truth." (John 4:23)
Who should praise the Lord?
- Angels: "Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word." (Psalm 103:20)
- Saints: "Sing to the LORD, you saints of his; praise his holy name." (Psalm 30:4)
- Nations: "Praise the LORD, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples." (Psalm 117:1)
- Children: "'Do you hear what these children are saying?' they asked him. 'Yes,' replied Jesus, 'From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise.'" (Matthew 21:16)
- Kings, Princes, Judges: "Kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth." (Psalm 148:11)
- Young and Old: "Young men and maidens, old men and children." (Psalm 148:12)
- All Creation: "Let everything that has breath praise the LORD." (Psalm 150)
WHY should we praise the Lord?
- It brings us into God's Presence: "Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name." (Psalm 100:4) A "gathering in His name" means that Jesus is the focus, the center of the assemblage. He is the One preached about, sung about - the One praised and worshiped. As a consequence, Christ's presence, along with His virtue and anointing, is manifested in this type of gathering.
- Praise brings us into God's Power: "Where two or three are gathered in His Name, He is there in our midst." (Matthew 18:20) This is the second powerful principle. When we praise God, He manifests His power through the Person of the Holy Spirit who manifests Himself in the operation of the "Gifts of the Spirit", with the workings of supernatural faith, miracles, healings, tongues, interpretation of tongues, discernment of spirits, and words of knowledge.
- Praise brings down God's Glory: The Levites were to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD. They were to do the same in the evening. (1 Chronicles 23:30) When God comes with His Presence, He not only brings His Power, but also His Glory. In some cases the glory of God was so great that the priests could not even minister in the tabernacle. When we praise and worship God, the Glory of God comes down (1 Kings 8:10-11). The anointing of God also descends upon His servants as it did with Elisha when he called for the harpists, and the anointing of God came upon him (II Kings 3:15-16).
- Praise brings God's deliverance: In Acts 16:30-31 Paul and Silas knew the secret of entering into God's presence and power. Sitting chained in a prison is an unthinkable reason to praise God. Through praise God provided a channel for his power to operate and God caused a supernatural earthquake which freed them from their imprisonment.
- Praise brings us into a place of Trust: (Daniel 2:20-23). Daniel praised and trusted God to interpret King Nebuchadnezzar's dream and God gave Daniel wisdom and knowledge. God answered his prayer. God has given each of us the freedom of choice. When we complain and get anxious about a situation we have already declared defeat and become a "servant" because we have chosen to let the situation control us. As Christians we are to be a servant to no one, except to Jesus.
- Praise is a sacrifice of Faith: "Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of his works with songs of joy." ( Psalm 107:22) Praise is a "sacrifice" that we offer because we believe in Him and wish to please Him. The Old Testament sacrifices were symbolic of faith in anticipation of what Jesus would accomplish on Calvary's cross. Praise and thanksgiving doesn't look at the problem, but to the solution. We are called to walk by faith and not by sight because without faith it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6).
- Praise sends the Enemy Running: The Devil fears the name of Jesus, and flees. In 2 Chronicles 20:22, when the children of Judah found themselves outnumbered by their enemies of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, King Jehoshophat turned to God and all the people sought the Lord for His help. The Lord assured the people that this would be His battle. He told them that He would do the fighting for them. So what did the children of Judah do? Being the people of "praise" (Judah means Praise), and knowing that God manifests His power through praise, the children of Judah marched against their enemies, led by the praisers! When they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the enemy and they were ALL defeated.
- Praise is a Lifestyle: "...I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth." (Psalms 34:1) All too often, praise to God is something that many people leave at church. Praise should be intermingled with everything we do. Praising God brings the refreshing of His Presence, along with His anointing so that we can meet every challenge.
The greatest act of praise and deliverance is found in Psalm 22. It is a Messianic Psalm uttered by Jesus while He was hanging on the cross. In verse 22 the Psalm takes a sudden turn from agony and anguish to victory. While yet hanging on the cross Jesus declared: "I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you. You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel! For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help. From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you will I fulfill my vows." As Jesus was hanging on the cross, He was praising God for His deliverance and victory. Psalm 22 is the greatest model of the power of praise for the church today.
While Jesus was hanging on the cross, He was already praising and thanking God for His resurrection! The lesson to be learned is when we are facing an insurmountable problem, don't repeat the problem over and over again, but start praising God for the answer. Every time the devil reminds you of the problem, remind him of the answer: the answer is to keep praising God and giving Him glory, and then be prepared to see how God will break through with the solution.
You will not be disappointed!