Throughout the Old and New Testaments children of God are instructed to worship and praise Him: “Praise him for his mighty works; praise his unequalled greatness” (Psalm 150); “Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day” (1 Chronicles 16:23);
At first, as a “new” Christian, it secretly had me wondering – why are we so incessantly commanded to praise God? I was ashamed to ask or even think this question because of where it leads – a very unspiritual conclusion that normally would be drawn about a person who constantly demands praise – a self-important egotist.
I think there are many Christians out there who also secretly wonder about this but are afraid to ask the question.
Since those days I have learnt multiple answers. The first obvious fact to remember is that God is an all-perfect, self-sufficient being who does not need anything from us to be complete, but for us to praise him is the only appropriate response to his greatness. The profound truth that encapsulates all the answers to the question is that – it’s not that GOD needs our praise, but it is WE who NEED to praise God.
He is Worthy & Deserving of our Praise
Once confronted by God’s amazing grace and the gospel of Jesus Christ – I felt passionately drawn to worship Him, because he is both worthy and deserving of my praise. In fact, when we truly realize the debt of gratitude due to God, we eagerly offer Him praise as a love offering. “The Lord is great and worthy of our praise” (1 Chron 16:25). We can easily draw a parallel of this in our earthly lives. We’re comfortable praising the people we love and admire, for all sorts of achievements, but God alone deserves our heartfelt worship and supreme allegiance.
No earthly achievement or distinction can come anywhere close to what Christ has achieved for us by his death on the cross
All praise and honour and glory to King Jesus who defeated the power of sin and death and took upon Himself all the wretched filth of this world – all because of His immeasurable love for each one of us.
Almighty King, Rock of Ages, Unblemished Lamb of God, Sweetest Rose of Sharon, Bright and Morning Star, Messiah, Lion of the tribe of Judah, Light of the World, Son of God – to you alone belongs the highest praise! Let my praises rise to you like sweet incense as I declare my never-ending love to you!
Not to mention the incalculable, unfathomable achievements of our Creator God in the ongoing miracle called creation. Do you still see the miraculous in the mundane? The meticulous detail that went into the crafting and design of a butterfly’s wings, over and above the biological genius that makes it alive and flutter by.
“Sunrise brilliance and sunset beauty both take turns singing their songs of joy to you”Psalm 65:8 TPT
Praise Chases Away Despair
Today as I exchange the garment of heaviness for a garment of praise and bring high and holy praises to You my Lord, your glory falls and expels negativity, despair, stress and fear. When praises rise burdens are lifted.
I extend my hands, singing my favourite worship songs. Declaring my love and thanksgiving. The Holy Spirit arises in me and floods me with unstoppable joy. There’s no better way to beat the blues than to change our focus from self to God. Such a shift produces “the oil of gladness instead of mourning” (Isaiah 61:3).
Praise helps us to better focus on God
Praise promotes intimacy with God resulting in more intimate communication with Him and hearing his voice. Hearing God’s voice is the most important part of our fellowship time with God.
God’s presence is especially intense in an atmosphere of praise Wait a minute, isn’t God omnipresent – everywhere, all the time? Absolutely! But He is intensely present where worship is present. Praise is where God lives. God inhabits the praises of His people (Ps 22:3)
Praise is a WEAPON.
Ps 149: 4 The faithful and humble who praise you will be adorned with your beauty as your glory falls – and to them you love to give victory
Many are the victories that have been won by praise. The battles too many to name – depression, opposition in the workplace, the enemy trying to destroy your marriage, your children. In the Bible there are various examples of how praise was used in battles to help secure victories. Just take the majestic walls of Jericho that fell by praise alone. Your Jericho can be walls of opposition or exclusion – those walls can come crashing down, through faith-filled praise and worship of our King who loves to give you victory (see Ps 149:4 above)
Ps 149:6 God’s high and holy praises fill their mouths, for their shouted praises are their weapons of war. These warring weapons will bring vengeance on every opposing force and every resistant power
As children of God we must be equipped with spiritual weapons since we are engaged in spiritual battles (2 Cor 10:3-4). Praise and worship are weapons of war that are powerful before God for the demolition of strongholds, breaking chains, and opening prison doors
Praise lifts us out of the oppression of the enemy. Do you need a powerful weapon to break the chains of addiction, the prison doors of financial debt? Humble yourself, bow down and worship in adoration and faith in the presence of the king of Kings. Singing praises will bring deliverance into reality.
In Acts 16:22-26 we read of Paul and Silas in Philippi. Backs ripped to pieces by an earlier Roman beating, chained, bound and locked up in the deepest inner section of the prison. Around midnight (when everything seems darkest and hope fades fast) Paul & Silas, instead of turning to anger, despair or self-pity, were praying and singing hymns of PRAISE to God. The prisoners were listening to them.
And suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s chains were unfastened.
A thousand sparkling stars upon a midnight summer sky
The majesty and wonder of the ocean’s endless tide
And the more I see the more I can’t explain
How the one who set the world in place
Could even know my name and I’m amazed, I’m so amazed
A million snowflakes gently fall, yet no two are the same
For colours fill the canvas of the seasons as they change
And everywhere I look I see Your hand
Why You would love someone like me
I’ll never understand and I’m amazed, I’m so amazed
How great You are, how small I amHow Great You Are – Phillips, Craig & Dean
How awesome is Your mighty hand
And I am captured by the wonder of it all
And I will offer all my praise with all my heart for all my days
How great You are, how great You are, how great You are