Why Should We Praise?

245834_6553I was thinking about the word “praise” the other day- what it means and why we do it. I’d never really studied the word before. I just assumed I knew what it means. After all, I “praise” every Sunday at my church, and often when I’m alone- usually in the car! Don’t be alarmed- I don’t raise BOTH hands, usually that is! So what are we really doing when we praise? And why do we do it? Can you praise wrong? All questions I let myself think as I decided to approach the word praise as if I’d never heard of it before. I figured if I looked at it as something completely new I would learn something new. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

So to start, I decided to do the obvious: look up the word in a dictionary. I used the online Merriam Webster and McMillan Dictionaries. I found that praise is a verb. It is an action. Something we do. I also noticed with Merriam Webster’s definition. It distinguishes that it can be a transitive verb or intransitive. Because the praise I am talking about is directed towards God (our object), we will look at the Merriam’s definition for the transitive verb definition of the word Praise. Here is what Merriam Webster says;

1. to express a favorable judgment of : commend
2 to glorify (a god or saint) especially by the attribution of perfections

notice we can praise something or someone else and that is considered idolatry.

Okay on to McMillan’s definition

1. to express strong, approval or admiration for someone or something, especially in public
2. to worship God with words or music 919226_73670605
Very interesting. McMillian even mentions music! After reading through the definitions, I decided I do have a firm grasp on the meaning of the word praise. I still benefited by thinking about it more in depth for I also see that praise, as far as towards God can be done in vain without a real effect, which would be of course unpleasing to God. If our heart is not in agreement with what our lips are saying and our hands are doing, it isn’t true praise. How can you praise in truth if your heart is not in it? How can you praise if you don’t see God as perfect and praise worthy? It has to start with the attitude of your heart. Luke 6:45 says;” A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” So if your heart is filled with gratitude and admiration for God you can’t help but praise. It will just pour out of you naturally. You may praise by singing, verbally giving thanks, prayer or shouting and lifting you’re hands. The main thing is that God is the main thing! He is the one you’re praising and not anyone or anything else.
We should praise because God is worthy of our praise. That sums it up.
Psalm 150:6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.
Here’s a beautiful song by Rachael Lampa – My Father’s Heart

The Battle Is The Lords

Aside

What a wonderful blog posted by Psalms of Praise Women’s Ministry. It really spoke to me and I hope it will encourage some of you as well. Let the richness of this passage really sink in.

“This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you. Go out and face them tomorrow and the Lord will be with you”!

What an awesome truth God is telling us! The battle is the Lords, not ours. I’ve been guilty of trying to fight the good fight of faith all on my own. I don’t handle things as well when I do that. It’s only when I truly surrender and place my fears in God’s hands, turning over the outcome to Him that I truly experience the peace that surpasses all understanding that enables me to stand firm in my faith. The battle may still continue, but I can still be victorious by being strong in the Lord.

Psalms of Praise Womens' Ministries - My Daily Bread!

Spirit of the Lord Inspires Faith  – My Daily Bread!

An example of God’s encouragement to his people in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds is found in the Old Testament at 2 Chronicles 20: 15-17, NIV.  These words have inspired the hearts of Christians for centuries, I pray they increase your faith and courage for God: It reads:

“This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army.  For the battle is not yours, but God’s.  Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you. Go out and face them tomorrow and the Lord will be with you”! 

The events that resulted in the awesome statement of Faith in today’s reflection occurred during the reign of King Jehoshaphat, one of the good kings of Judah who was noted for his devotion to the…

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What Are You Carrying?

Just returned from a recent trip to see my family in the rolling hills of Kentucky.  We were gone for a week and it seemed like we had to pack everything.  It was a real job just getting ready to go!  You know the feeling!  You need a vacation after your vacation!  We had tons of fun and everything turned out great!  It’s always good to make it home safe and sound.  Before we left for our trip I figured I’d pack a couple of magazines and a good book to read for the long 13 hour car ride. I am always picking up books to read, so I knew there would be something I could take. As I searched my mini at home library I stumbled upon a book by Max Lucado titled “Traveling Light”.  How fitting I thought, this may be just what I need to read during our travels.So I packed it in our car bag, which would be with me up in the front seat. This book has been great so far! Maybe it will resonate with you too. Here’s the inside of the jacket as written by the author:

” Weary travelers. You’ve seen them-everything they own crammed into their luggage. Staggering through terminals and hotel lobbies with overstuffed suitcases, trunks, duffels and backpacks. Back ache.  Feet burn. Eyelids droop.  We’ve all seen people like that.  At times, we are people like that-if not with our physical luggage, then at least with our spiritual load.  We all lug loads we were never intended to carry. Fear. Worry. Discontent. No wonder we get so weary.  We’re worn out from carrying that excess baggage. Wouldn’t it be nice to lose some of those bags?  That’s the invitation of Max Lucado. With the twenty-third Psalm as our guide, let’s release some of the burdens we were never intended to bear.”

Maybe your like me and are so used to carrying something you were never meant to carry.  It’s time we lay that weight down.  As a matter of fact we are told to lay it down. “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” Hebrews 12;1.  Maybe it’s not sin weighing you down, but something else that is keeping you from running the race more efficiently, limiting the abundant and fruitful life that we are meant to live.  Something to think about.  What are you carrying?

Turn It Over To Jesus

Baggage Room

Baggage Room (Photo credit: TimsStrategy)