Say The Word: Praise

Praise, verb: to express a feeling of veneration or gratitude; to worship or glorify; noun: an expression of commendation or admiration; an extolling of a deity or a rendering of homage and gratitude.

Christian praise is an act of worship which recognizes and acknowledges God as the ultimate source of all things, including His act of creation, His plan of redemption, acts of deliverance when we are in need, and, more generally, His love and unchanging nature (steadfast constancy). The work of God in Jesus is also marked by praise, including (but by no means limited to) praise attending his birth, and his triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

Praise arises from the sheer joy of the redeeming presence of God, such praise being an echo on earth of the praise of heaven. God takes pleasure and delight in His works of creation, and all creation, including the angels, expresses its joy with praise. Praise includes making noise, actions and gestures accompany noise, and the playing or singing of music.

Christians are called to praise God constantly. Praise to God is not dependant on mood or feeling or circumstances. To rejoice before the Lord is part of the ordered ritual of the life of His people, in which men encourage and exhort one another to praise. There are Psalms which express praise by an individual, but praise is more powerfully rendered within the congregation where praise not only gives honor and pleasure to God, but also bears testimony to God’s people.

Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heaven!
Praise him for his mighty works;
praise his unequaled greatness!
Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn;
praise him with the lyre and harp!
Praise him with the tambourine and dancing;
praise him with strings and flutes!
Praise him with a clash of cymbals;
praise him with loud clanging cymbals.
Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord! Praise the Lord! (Psalm 150)

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