The Why & How of Praise
Have you ever wondered, what’s the point?
Since the beginning of time, hasn’t all of humanity struggled with this fundamental question?
Desperate to unlock the meaning of life. To answer the big question of why we are here and the purpose of our existence.
I mean, there has to be a point? Right?
Ironically, the answer is easy. Pure. Simple. True.
Yet, it seems to be one of those things that are so obvious we overlook it entirely ….
Creatures made for the sole purpose of praising their creator.
We are created to praise the Lord. That is our foundational purpose in life to praise the God who so lovingly and carefully breathed us into existence.
I'm ashamed to admit that I've missed this concept almost completely; like most, I tend to make things far more complicated than necessary.
Sure, God may have specific goals or plans in mind for our lives, but if we get this foundational idea ingrained into our very souls, no matter what happens in this life, we have ultimately fulfilled our primary purpose. No regrets needed.
From sunrise to sunset, every day, through every circumstance and situation, we are called to praise the Lord.
Good times and bad times - praise the Lord.
How in the world do we do this? Praise God continuously?
(Now, it doesn’t seem so easy.)
Webster dictionary defines praise as “to say good things about” and is equal to words like admire, commend, honor, and worship.
Taking this definition into consideration and looking at Scripture, I would encourage you to consider testing out a few of the following ideas on how to praise:
Praise Him with your first & last thoughts.
“It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, proclaiming your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night.” ~Psalm 92:1-2
Praise Him with your hands.
Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and bless the Lord. ~ Psalm 134:2
Praise Him with your bodies (sexual purity & moderation.)
"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body." ~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Praise Him with song.
Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to God: for it is; pleasant, and praise is beautiful! ~ Psalm 147:1
Praise Him with words.
“I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”~ Psalm 34:1
Praise Him with dance & music.
Let them praise His name with the dance; let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp. ~ Psalm 149:3
If you stop and think about it- praise isn't that hard. We seem to do it quickly when it comes to movie stars or music legends. We track down our favorite artist, spend a small fortune to buy a concert ticket, get dressed up, joyfully attend and spend the evening on our feet, arms raised, dancing, singing and shouting out our approval, our adoration, and love. No one thinks this strange or unusual - pretty standard reaction to a favorite artist. What about a favorite athlete or sports team?
Doesn’t God deserve so much more than an ordinary person who happens to be talented in a particular area?
Isn’t God the ultimate superstar?
Why do we so easily give away our adoration to things that don’t matter and hold back like shy, awkward wallflowers who are too afraid to move when it comes to praising God?
Praise for our Lord should be as natural as breathing. It should be a standard part of our day. It doesn't have to be complicated or over-the-top. It can be as simple as acknowledging God when you wake, recognizing Him throughout your day, blessing your food, honoring your body and thanking Him before you go to bed. If you add in some singing and dancing in the mix- God grins.
If indeed, our real purpose in this life is to praise God- don't you think it's time to get started?
Father, we thank you for your steadfast love and faithfulness. You are jealous for us and want nothing more in this world than for us to love and adore you. We were made to praise you, and it is an honor and privilege to do so. Help us, Lord to remove our self-conscious nature and come wild and free before you joyfully praising you with our lips, our hands, our bodies, and our dance. You are worthy of all praise.
“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” ~ Revelation 4:11