What’s in a Word? – Praise

“God is so good!”

A phrase plastered on bathroom plaques and above-the-kitchen-table metal signs; but how often do we really take the time to say this to God

Before conversational prayer really became a part of my life, it always felt a little strange to me to “praise God” in the sense of acknowledging aloud what He has done for me. The words tended to emerge too formally, stiff and awkward; or else they sounded scripted, like a list of achievements read off at a graduation ceremony.   

Yet over time and as life experience happens, and as I get to know my Maker on a more personal basis day by day, something has begun to work in my heart more heavily; similar to how I am with my friends, the “encourager of the group,” I’m beginning to shift the tone of my conversations with God. Rather than listing off quick thanks and requests, I want to dive deeper into accolades. I want to speak to God like I would a friend, with my wholehearted belief, sincere gratitude and adoration, and deep trust and love. 

When “praise” and “worship” are bundled together too closely in our language, we risk losing the beauty of time taken in focus to express our love of the Father for all He is, all He has done, and all He will do. Does God know how amazing He is? Yes, I imagine He does! But there’s a deep strengthening of the bond between us when we take time to acknowledge with our own lips, our own minds, our own hearts just how MUCH we love Him and are grateful for all He has done. 

Yes, our God IS good. Let’s make sure we take time to tell Him so, from the bottom of our heart! 

What is Praise?

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “praise” as “to express favorable judgment of [something]; to glorify, especially by the attributes of perfection.”

While the terms “praise” and “worship” are often used interchangeably or harmoniously, they are actually very different aspects of our interaction and relationship with God that call to and come from different parts of our spirit. 

Praise is something we are called to do throughout the Bible—not because of how we feel, but because of what God has done for us and for the world in general. Praise is the deserved and truthful acknowledgement of the righteous acts God has performed. In the same vein, we often praise (make truthful acknowledgement of) the achievements and actions of friends, family members, children, etc. Thus, when we praise God, what we’re doing is giving glory to Him for all He is and has done, and especially to His attributes of perfection.

What Does the Bible Say About Praise?

Ephesians 1:5 – Let us praise God for his glorious grace, for the free gift he gave us in his dear Son!

Psalm 75:1 – We praise you, God, we praise you, for your Name is near; people tell of your wonderful deeds.

2 Corinthians 1:3 – Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! He is the Father who is compassionate and the God who gives comfort.

How Should I Praise God? 

We are told many times, especially through the Psalms, to give praise to God for all He has done. Some of the ways we can praise God are with singing, shouting, dancing, and with musical instruments. We can also praise God when we pray, by simply taking the time to acknowledge His hand in our lives and His mighty attributes and deeds.

In addition, we can offer praise to God by the way we live our lives. The Bible calls us to live our lives “to the praise of God’s glory,” meaning that we praise Him with our conduct and that by that same conduct we inspire others to praise Him. In other words, we praise God through obedience to His calling on our lives, and through our obedience, we lead others to recognize and acknowledge His attributes of perfection.

Take Action!

Carve out time in your prayer life to include consciously praising God for all His mighty deeds and specifically for the wonderful things He has done in your life!

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