“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; Give thanks to him and praise his name”
One of my daughters works in a management position in a big busy office and has quite a lot of responsibility with a team of others she supervises and often felt that perhaps nobody was aware of how diligently she performed her tasks, but was pleasantly surprised to be called into her overseers’ office last week to be told that her boss had received an e-mail from another person in management which was essentially a glowing report of my daughter’s work ethics. My daughter later confided to me how that one acknowledgement had given her such a lift and she suddenly realised that her efforts had been recognised.
We can all relate to my daughter’s story about the wonderful power praise has. Lots of seminars have been given about how to use praise in raising our children, encouraging those suffering from low esteem, allowing slow learners to blossom, cementing relationships in marriage by praising our spouses. We all function so much better with praise being an essential part of our lives.
Scripture has much to say about praise. Checking the word in a concordance will give you pages of reference and the majority of the verses are praising God. I was wondering about why this was so, as God certainly doesn’t need praise in the way humans need it, and then as I read one of David’s psalms I suddenly realised that when David used the word he was recognising the incredible attributes of our Heavenly Father; his forgiveness; his compassion; his deep love for us; his power over evil; his out pouring of blessings. When we recognise and tell God we do know who he is and we know who we are in relationship to him, love and blessings flow between us. Praising God is recognising who he is.
“Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits- who forgives your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:2 – 5)
It is so easy to forget that when we opt to follow the Lord, every aspect of our life is now shared with him and this becomes such a pleasant experience if we remember to acknowledge that through praise;
“Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him.” (Psalm 147:1)
When we learn to recognise the wonderful attributes of God through praising him, we find that as we do, we stop focusing on ourselves, we are freed from being self absorbed, we begin to notice the attributes of those around us which in turn allows us to give praise to those who need it.
The psalmists had a great grasp about what it meant to praise God and vowed praising would be a lifelong practice.
“Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, O my soul. I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.” (Psalm 146:1 – 2)