Praise to God is a natural response from our hearts. God has saved us from our sins and given us an amazing new life as His children. We are forgiven and cleansed, filled with the Holy Spirit, resourced with the Word of God, the Blood of Christ and God’s Love to live amazing new lives for God’s Kingdom.
Yet, like all things in life, we can become cool toward what should be kept in our heart as amazing and wonderful.
The Bible shows that Christians are to be a people of Praise.
“You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light” 1Peter 2:9
“This people have I formed for myself; they will show forth my praise.” Isaiah 43:21
“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!” Psalm 150:6
I have often noted how blessed Christians seem to be when they start to praise God. Hymns and songs of praise are a valued part of Christian worship, not just because it’s a nice thing to do, but because praise, whether in song or word, releases something from us to God that is a natural part of our Christian life.
If you have not been active in praising God I urge you to realise this is something you are meant to do, constantly.
“Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” Ephesians 5:18,19
Note that praise includes music but can be done without any music or song. Praise is what we say to God from our heart. Reciting a psalm or speaking our words of glorifying God is perfectly valid as praise, without us having to break into song.
We are also shown in the Bible that praise and thanksgiving are keys to entering into God’s presence. As God’s children we are instructed to consciously enter God’s presence in order to receive things God has for us.
“Come boldly to the throne of grace, to receive mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
“In Christ we have boldness and confident access to God by the faith of him.” Ephesians 3:12
King David was one of the greatest worshippers of God, giving us many of the Psalms used for thousands of years by God’s people. David gives us a key to coming into God’s presence, using thanks and praise.
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful to him, and bless his name.” Psalm 100:4
“Let us enter His presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to Him in song.” Psalm 95:2
David gives us the picture of going through God’s gates, as in the outer entry point into His presence, by giving Thanks. Then getting even closer to God, into His courts, using Praise.
Those who study worship have suggested that being thankful is a good way to start our time of praise and worship to God. Then praising God brings us right before His throne.
I recently led a group of friends to actively enter God’s presence, starting with Thanks. Those more experienced at worshipping God had no problem thinking of things to thank God for. Others struggled to think of what to thank God for.
King David could thank and praise God readily, and he even praised God for things that happened in historic times, since they displayed God’s glory. The psalms talk of God rescuing Israel from Egypt, opening the Sea, protecting Israel in the wilderness and giving them the Promised Land.
There are unlimited things we can thank and praise God for.
If you have not practiced giving God thanks, I urge you to take time each day to thank God for things, such as your life, family, comfort, provision and the like, and then thank God for things far and wide, such as His hand on your family through the generations. I expect that as you practice thanking God you will unlock your inner desire to praise and worship God, because the Holy Spirit within you wants your spirit to praise God.
Note that the Apostle Paul says thanking God is God’s will for us.
“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” 1Thessalonians 5:18
It is suggested that a time of glorifying God can involve three progressive steps. The first is Thanks to God, by which we come through His gates. We then give God Praise, which is to glorify God for what He has done, such as His victories and provisions.
“Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.” Psalm 150:2
Then, at the closest place with God, we Worship, which is to glorify God for Who He is, not just what He has done.
“You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, honour and power; because you created all things, and they were created for your pleasure.” Revelation 4:11
We see this progression in human relationships, starting with appreciation for what someone has done or is to us. We then give honour for how they have been helpful to us. At the closest level, we simply adore them for who they are. Many times in our closest relationships we don’t need to say much, but just enjoy being with them.
So, my friends, let me encourage you to do what you are created to do; Praise the Lord. Practice it as a skill, expanding your experience in giving God Thanks for all the things He has done. Then Praise Him for His mighty acts and all the great victories and provisions He gave you.
As you do that you may well find yourself sensing God’s presence and just wanting to worship and adore Him.
I urge you all to be sweetly expert at coming to God’s throne of grace and Entering With Praise.