Three concepts found in Scripture are closely related, yet distinct: worship, praise, and thanksgiving. All occur frequently in the Bible, so it is important for us to distinguish them.
In worship, we relate to God’s holiness. In praise, we relate to God’s greatness. In thanksgiving, we relate to God’s goodness.
In this letter, we will deal with just one of these three concepts: the theme of praise. Through praising God we open the way for Him to intervene supernaturally on our behalf. For us as believers, there is Victory in Praise.
Seven Scriptural Facts
In the following sections, let’s look at seven scriptural facts about praise.
1. Praise is God’s Address
“Thou art holy,O thou that in habitest the praises of Israel.” (Psalm 22:3, KJV)
Praise is God’s address; it is where He lives. If you and I want to be where God lives, we must offer Him praise.
The New King James version of the Bible has beautifully translated that verse as: “You are holy; enthroned in the praises of Israel.” Praise is God’s throne. Our praise does not make Him a King; He is a King—whether we praise Him or not. But when we praise Him, we welcome Him and recognize His Kingship. Praise is God’s dwelling place and His throne.
2. The Way into His Presence
“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.” (Psalm 100:4-5)
Praise is the way into God’s presence. The way into His gates and courts is with praise and thanksgiving.
Scripture gives us three reasons why we ought to praise the Lord. He is good, His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations. Each of those statements is always true—no matter what happens.
Without praise there is no access to God’s presence.
3. Praise and God’s Blessings
“Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the Gentiles, to give thanks to Your holy name, to triumph in Your praise.” (Psalm 106:47)
God brings us together with Him and with one another because He wants us to give thanks to His name and to triumph in His praise.
In Psalm 30, David looked back on a long dark period in his life. (Many of us could look back over similar times.)
“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, to the end that [this is the purpose] my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.” (Psalm 30:11-12)
God’s primary purpose in giving us a tongue is to praise Him. It is the one member of the body with which you and I may most perfectly praise and glorify God.
Let’s remember that God blesses us, delivers us, and takes away our mourning so that our tongue—our “glory”—will praise Him and not be silent.
4. Our Spiritual Garment
Praise is part of our spiritual clothing. Isaiah 61 speaks about the coming of Messiah, saying that He would “console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes [the emblem of mourning], the oil of joy for mourning [oil being an emblem of the Holy Spirit], the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” (verse 3).
In modern English the “spirit of heaviness” is depression. But when we wear the garment of praise, the spirit of heaviness departs.
5. Salvation and Praise
Praise is a way of deliverance. Speaking of Himself, God says:
“Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; and to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God.” (Psalm 50:23)
Through praising God, we open the way for Him to intervene supernaturally on our behalf. There are many examples in Scripture where the intervention of God comes about by praise.
Let’s look at one familiar example in 2 Chronicles 20. A strong alien army was invading Judah. King Jehoshaphat realized he did not have the military resources to meet this army. So, he resorted to spiritual weapons instead. Before they marched out to the battle, in accordance with God’s instructions, this is what they did:
“And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying, ‘Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever.’” (2 Chronicles 20:21)
When God’s people praised the Lord, He intervened and dealt with their enemies. If you and I want the supernatural intervention of God on our behalf in a difficult or impossible situation, the key that will release it is our praise. Usually, it is at a time when we would least feel like praising God.
6. A Spiritual Weapon
Praise is also a weapon of spiritual warfare. In Psalm 8, David is speaking to the Lord:
“Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, because of Your enemies, that You may silence the enemy and the avenger.” (Psalm 8:2)
The “enemy and the avenger” is Satan. We need to silence him. Why? Because he is accusing us before the throne of God day and night. How do we silence him? The strength that comes “out of the mouth” will do it.
When we offer God praise, we silence Satan. We shut him up, and we take from him his great weapon: accusation. No wonder the devil doesn’t want you to praise God.
7. The Sacrifice of Praise
Finally, praise is a sacrifice. It costs us something. There is a beautiful Scripture that describes what is going to happen after Israel is restored. In a place of desolation, misery, and mourning, they are going to hear:
“The voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who will say: ‘Praise the Lord of hosts, for the Lord is good, for His mercy endures forever’—and of those who will bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord.” (Jeremiah 33:11)
That translation brings out the real meaning. The sacrifice God wants us to bring into His house is praise.
If you and I praise God when we feel happy and everything is going well, that is good. But it is not a sacrifice. When everything is going wrong and we still praise God, that is a sacrifice.
A Prayer of Commitment
The seven reasons we have just explored for praising the Lord are convincing evidence for obeying God in this area. After reading them, you may feel moved to take a step right now.
If you would like to renew your commitment to the Lord in this area, let’s do so together with the following prayer:
Dear Lord, Today I want to take a further step in this area of praise. You have been so faithful in every area of my life, and You deserve all the praise I can offer. I make the commitment now to devote myself more fully to this area of giving praise to You. I pray this in the Name of Jesus. Amen.