I realized a while ago that I needed an attitude change. Life was piling up, and I was in a funk. I needed to focus more on God than on my storms. Praising Him brings me such comfort, but I realized that using praise mostly to improve my mood meant I was missing out on some important aspects of praise. I needed a refresher course on how and why we should praise God.
Care to join me?
There are benefits of praise (more on that later), but they shouldn’t be our sole reason for praising God.
Unfortunately, our pesky sinful nature steers us towards focusing on ourselves. Praising God comes from a completely different motivation. Praising God helps us focus on Him.
We praise Him not only for every aspect of who He is and what He does for us, but also for how He steadfastly disciplines us with love. He deserves praise for His righteous judgements.
We also praise Him for His plans that are always good (even if they might not match ours.)
Why Do We Praise God?
Praising God is a celebration of His glory and goodness. It is a time to revel in His power and presence, speak our love for Him, and honor His holiness.
Reasons to Praise God
The list is long, but let’s hit some highlights.
•God is Worthy of Our Praise
“Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.” Psalm 145:3.
We praise Him because He simply deserves it! (He doesn’t need our praise; He has everything He needs.)
He is worthy of our praise because all His ways are perfect- absolute truth, holiness, love, infinite power, knowledge, and sovereignty.
We praise Him for the beauty of His creations, and for His grace, mercy, blessings, and forgiveness. There is no one like Him!
•Created to Praise God
He created us to praise Him; giving Him the glory He so richly deserves.
“To my people, my chosen, this people I have formed for myself; they shall declare my praise.” Isaiah 43:21.
•Praise is a Weapon
You may not think of praise as a weapon, but it is powerful against the enemy. The devil hates praise. His goal is to break you down and keep you there, blaming God for your problems.
What does praise do to the devil? Praise silences him and makes him flee! Praise squashes his accusations and lies.
We see many examples in the Bible of men marching into battle, praising God for their victory to come. (2 Chronicles 20:21)
Praise also won the battle over evil when Roman magistrates had Paul and Silas beaten and falsely imprisoned. (Acts 16:25-26)
They were praying and singing hymns of praise in their cell when an earthquake came. The prison shook, and the doors flew open! Their shackles fell off, and they were free.
Praise is powerful and can bring us victory as we turn our battles over to God.
A Sacrifice of Praise
The writer of Hebrews tells us, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise– the fruit of lips that confess his name.” (13:15)
A sacrifice costs us something. Psalm 34:1 answers the question, when should we praise?
“I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises.”
A sacrifice of praise is our grateful response to His continual goodness, care, mercy, protection, and more.
We have the Holy Spirit within us to help us see the wonder and majesty all around us, know His power and sovereignty, and be in awe of His amazing love and grace.
God wouldn’t have asked us to praise Him continually if it was impossible. Notice the beginning of the verse: “Through Jesus.”
It is He that invites us to come to Him, offer a sacrifice of praise and acknowledge Him in our hearts and with our lips (whether through words or song!)
How to Praise God in Difficult Times
We can also give a sacrifice of praise in difficult times. It requires personal sacrifice to set our will and thoughts aside and praise Him, confident that He is always good, and trust Him completely.
We can choose to offer praise to the Lord or choose to let anxiety and fear grip our hearts and minds.
We all will have times of discouragement and distress. But genuine praise is not contingent on our circumstances.
It comes from hearts that praise God despite the pain, through all the highs and lows of life, knowing He is never changing and walking beside us in all circumstances.
That’s not to say it will be easy. But drawing near to God in these times, even with the faintest whisper of praise, can give us the hope and peace we need to ease our burdens.
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Praising God in Difficult Times Bible Verses
Keeping an attitude of praise through our difficult times helps us strengthen our faith. These praise verses help bring peace, comfort, and inspiration during our trials.
Which one speaks to your heart?
•“The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him.” Exodus 15:2.
•“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior, and my God.” Psalm 42:11.
•“Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name, I will lift up my hands.” Psalm 63:3-4.
•“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9.
•“I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.” Psalm 34:1 (“Extol,” means to praise enthusiastically.)
Benefits of Praising God
We don’t praise God because of what we get out of it, but the benefits of praise help us live life as God desires.
•When we praise God, our focus is on Him and not the world. Psalm 103 focuses on God’s glorious works in David’s life. It begins:
“Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul. And forget not all his benefits!” vv1-2.
David focuses on God’s wondrous deeds and gives a list of many things to praise God for. Counting our blessings in this way helps us remember all He has done for us.
•Praise lifts our spirits and brings hope into our hearts. Praise uniquely connects us to God. As we remind ourselves of all He has done and who He is, our love and devotion for Him grows.
•Praise brings true fulfillment. There is no person, job, vacation, or hobby that can fulfill us like Jesus. Praise removes stress and doubts and replaces it with His unending comfort and peace.
•As we continue to praise Him, we come to know Him on a deeper level.
Knowing and praising God’s character helps us understand more of Him. His holy attributes become the anchors for our lives and the answers to our needs.
For example, if I praise Him as the God who always keeps His promises, I remember that truth when I am struggling with trusting Him.
Praising Him because He says I am His treasured masterpiece combats feeling of dejection and unworthiness.
How To Praise God
Praise is a natural outpouring of our hearts. We can praise Him with words, song, prayers, and actions. As you express your praise more often, the easier and more abundant it becomes.
The practice of praise is unique to each of us because our personalities are unique. The Bible gives us some direction:
•“Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and bless the Lord.” Psalm 134:2.
Not everyone will feel comfortable doing this, but know if the Spirit moves you, an upturned palm means just as much to the Lord as waving your hands enthusiastically. He loves it all.😊
•“It is good to sing praises to God.” Psalm 147:1
Likewise, some are gifted singers who praise Him in choirs. Some of us only sing while we are alone in our car or in the shower.
I love praising Him while I’m driving and listening to Christian music!
•“Let them praise His name with the dance; let them sing praises with the timbrel and harp.” Psalm 149:3.
I can do neither of these things, but they bring joy to our God. If these are your area of expertise, use them to praise Him!
How to Praise God with Words
Here are three ways to praise God with our words:
•Praise Him through your testimony about what He has done for you.
“I tell you, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” Luke 19:40.
These are the words of Jesus to the Pharisees, who were demanding Jesus rebuke his disciples as they joyfully praised Him on His ride into Jerusalem on a donkey.
Let people know how He has worked in your life.
•Praise and Prayer
Jesus gave us the pattern of prayer in Matthew 6:9 and it begins with praise.
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name.” Jesus was praising the Father for not only His majesty but for being our personal and loving Father. He follows that with praise to honor His holy name.
Begin your prayers with a time of personal praise- who He is, and how you have seen Him work in your life.
•Praise in the Bible
No matter which translation you use, there are thousands of Bible verses about praise! If your praise seems stale, or you would like to enhance your practice of praise, the Psalms are a great place to start. (I highly recommend Psalm 103!)
You can also take a verse and turn it into praise (a great way to incorporate praise into your everyday Bible reading.)
For example: “God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1
Praise: “I praise you, Lord, for your amazing and powerful creative powers. You have given life to everything!”
Or: “On the seventh day He rested.” Genesis 2:2
“Father, I praise you for the gift of rest that you model for us. My life is so hectic, and in your goodness, you have shown me the importance of rest and refreshment.”
Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow!
This simple praise hymn can be a beautiful start and ending to your day (Bishop Ken recommended this practice when he wrote this hymn in 1674.)
Isn’t it amazing to think when we praise God, we are joining with the angels who surround Him with praise? (Revelation 5:11)
Even nature declares His praise- when I look at the intricacies of the many flowers in nature, or appreciate a glorious sunset, or hold a newborn baby, I can’t help but marvel at His glorious works.
We can praise God anywhere and anytime; inwardly, or out loud. Giving praise to God here on earth shows us a sliver of what heaven will look like when we all gather there. Who couldn’t use a little heaven on earth?
Our “praise practice” is something we all need to grow. Let’s learn to make praise our first response to everything. It’s a beautiful habit to grow your relationship with God and live the abundant life He has promised. Praise be to God!
All Scripture is taken from the NIV unless specified otherwise.
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