What is Praise? Dictionary.com defines praise as “the offering of grateful homage in words or song, as an act of worship, a hymn of praise to God or the state of being approved or admired”. Praise is an expression of worship to God. High praises brings our spirit into a altar of fellowship and intimacy between the believer and God The psalmist says in Psalm 22:3 “ But You are Holy, O You who dwell in the holy place where the praises of Israel are offered” – AMP . “But you are holy…..” We KNOW Our God is a holy God who has made a covenant with us his chosen ones. How is it that we who are from fallen man can approach a holy God? That was the question that Isaiah confronted in Isaiah 6:1-6, when he said in verse 5, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips …”
Yet, we are his chosen. The bible says in 1 Peter 2:9, “But 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 marvelous light.” – NKJV. He dwells in the atmosphere of the praises of his people. This means that praise is a vehicle which brings us into the presence and power of God! Praise and worship is the ticket that allows us to enter his presence and catch a glimpse of His glory. The psalmist says in Psalm 100:4, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise” – NKJV. When He says that he inhabits the praises of his people, it means that when we come together in his name, He must be the only one on our mind, he must be the center of our focus, it must be all about him – In other words, our Praise and our Worship is for an audience of one! His presence responds when we move upon Him in Praise and worship. Jesus being lifted up through praise and worship invokes the presence and power of God to flow in our midst.
Now, Praise should be our lifestyle as believers. We should praise him at all times and in all things. Praise is an expression of faith, and a declaration of victory! It declares that we believe God is with us and that He is in control of the outcome of all our circumstances. In Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose” – NKJV. Praise is a sacrifice something that we offer to God sacrificially, not just because we feel like it, but because we believe and trust in him and He is deserving of ALL of our praise.
Praise helps us to enter his presence. Our spirits are refreshed and renewed in His presence. We are strengthened by His peace and refueled by His joy. Through a heart of praise, we realize that God does not just change our situations and work through our problems, He changes our hearts. Let us be encouraged that, “In His presence, there is fullness of joy and at his right hand there are pleasures forever more.” Psalm 16:11
Paul and Silas knew the secret of how to lift their hearts above their challenges and enter into God’s presence and power. Through praise and worship their hearts were raised into the joyous presence and peace of God, and provided God a channel for his power to operate in their circumstances. God sent an earthquake that shook the cells and broke the chains. “But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s chains were loosed.” Acts 16:25-26- NKJV.
So in spite of all our worries, our challenges and our needs, we have a choice to have a pity party or, we can ask God to help us take our eyes off all these concerns and then we can look up…to Him, the One who holds it all together, and who holds us in his hands. God desires our whole heart. He waits for us to return to Him. He longs for us to know the power of His presence over our lives. He desires to bless us more than we could imagine. Let us choose to PRAISE HIM. Like the Psalmist declared in Psalm 34, “I will bless the Lord AT ALL TIMES”. The word, “will” is evidence of a decision made. He is saying, “I choose to bless God”. To bless means, “to extol as holy, to glory, to magnify” etc. So in this season when we celebrate Divinity becoming humanity, we also choose to make God bigger than our challenges, situations, pressures and problems. It is a choice. Why don’t you exercise your choice wisely today?