Why do we praise God? Of course our first answer should be because He is worthy of our praise. Because we love Him. Because of who He is. Because we are thankful for the things He is doing, and has done in our lives. How can we not praise Him?
Praising God sounds like an easy request right? Sometimes it can be. When we are truly thankful to the Lord for who He is and what He has done. When we are happy and all is right in our little corner of the world. Then its easy to praise Him and sing and give glory to His name.
Then there are those times when praise truly is a sacrifice, like it says in Hebrews 13:15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
We all have those times. Times when you feel lost, or broken or afraid. Times when your emotions seem to rule you and you feel unloved, rejected or even forgotten by God. That, my friend, is the time when you most need to praise God. Yes, it can feel like it is a sacrifice, because when you are in that place, praising God is sometimes the last thing you feel like doing. Do it anyway. You will be so glad you did.
When we praise the Lord not only are we giving Him the honor and love He deserves but praise lifts us up out of ourselves. It reminds us who God is and that He loves us and holds us in the palm of His hands.
As much as God loves praise our enemy hates it. Because he knows that praise is one of our most powerful weapons. We know that the mind is probably our biggest battlefield. So does the enemy. When we are listening to his lies instead of listening to God and meditating on His Word we are an easy target. It is when we decide to open our mouths and our hearts and praise God that we are able to overcome.
I look at praise like a two way gift. When we are praising the Lord it is like a gift we give to Him. We tell Him how we love Him, we thank Him for all the things He has done. In return, as we praise Him; we draw near to God and he draws near to us. James 4:8. And as we focus on praising God we rise above whatever we may have been focusing on.
In Acts 16 it talks about how Paul and Silas were imprisoned after being beaten and whipped. At about midnight,it says they were praising God and singing, then verse 26 says: 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. Praise can do the same thing for us today. It may not be our literal chains that are loosed but the chains that the enemy has used to keep us in bondage.
When I have times when I feel overwhelmed by the cares of life if I start thanking God and put on some praise music and sing along, it doesn’t take long till I feel like my burden has been lifted. Isaiah 61 talks about the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Imagine if we could remember to keep this garment of praise on all the time. It wouldn’t stop us from having problems but our problems wouldn’t have us.