PRAISE + WORSHIP: A DAILY OFFERING GOOD FOR THE SOUL

Anyone who has been raised in or around the church knows the phrase “Praise and Worship”. They’ve heard of “praise bands” and “worship teams” and they’ve been invited to “stand and join us in Praise and Worship”.

Lately I have thought and read a great deal about worship and praise, and all the swirling thoughts have become like dots I am seeing connect slowly. It has blown my mind. One site – Got Questions – is referred to a good deal in this post since I find it, in particular, really discusses this topic well in my opinion.

I want to share a little about the intentions and blessings that flow from praising and worshiping God, and encourage us to make it more than a delegated task on our agenda. Not just playing music in your car, and not just praising and worshipping when we are in the sanctuary with a praise and worship team or when something great happens…but rather really look at how God’s Word talks about it and how we can seek to make it a lifestyle.

According to the ministry team at gotquestions.org,

Praise is “the joyful recounting of all God has done for us.”

When God has taught you a new thing, intervened or answered prayers the way you hoped in your life or the life of a loved one in a big way, praise can come quite naturally. This really delights God when we acknowledge His goodness and His hand in orchestrating our circumstances in those moments; however, something that we find incredibly unnatural to do is to praise Him when He does not shield us from pain or sorrow or provide for us the way we hoped.

When we are confused or heartbroken, it can be the last thing we think of to lift our praises to God. However,

it is often the times it is hardest praise God

that our choice to praise Him becomes the best medicine for our souls.

This is probably a big part of why scripture tells us that it is God’s will for us… His desire for us…is for us to give thanks in ALL circumstances (1 Thess. 5:18). If you have ever heard of the phrase “offer up a sacrifice of praise” and thought “What’s with that?” This is where it comes in.

The Got Questions team explains it so well:

“Then there are those times when God did not come through the way we thought He would. The medical test comes back positive. The spouse wants a divorce. A child is wayward. The mortgage company calls in the loan. God seems very far away, and praise is the last thing to bubble up from our hearts. We can’t see His goodness, and circumstances scream that He has forgotten us.

To praise God in those times requires personal sacrifice. It takes an act of the will to lay our all on the altar before a God we don’t understand. When we bring a “sacrifice of praise,” we choose to believe that, even though life is not going as we think it should, God is still good and can be trusted (Psalm 135:2; Nahum 1:7). When we choose to praise God in spite of the storms, He is honored, and our faith grows deeper (Malachi 3:13-17; Job 13:15).

The command in Hebrews 13:15 says that this sacrifice is to be offered “continually.” Our praise of God is not to be based on our opinion of His job performance. Praise cannot be treated as a “reward” we give God for His obvious blessings. Isaiah 29:13 says, “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” Real praise continues regardless of circumstances.”

This article goes on to say that it is this type of praise – a sacrifice of praise – that “flows continually from a heart of worship.”  And –

Worship gets to the heart of who we are. To truly worship God, we must let go of our self-worship. We must be willing to humble ourselves before God, surrender every part of our lives to His control, and adore Him for who He is, not just what He has done. Worship is a lifestyle, not just an occasional activity.

When we understand that the our Heavenly Father wants us to praise and worship Him in this way, it involves so much more than just thanking Him for the good in our life or setting aside time to do so.

Praise and Worship, when joined together, honors and glorifies God by allowing us opportunities to strengthen, purify, apply, and walk out our faith in any and every circumstance and season in life as we:

1.) REMEMBER all God’s done for us with a joy-filled thankful heart…His faithfulness and provision in the past.

  • When we accurately remember who God is and what He is capable of, we have a more accurate view of ourselves and our limitations and need for such a faithful God!
  • When we praise God, and recount the marvelous ways He has been faithful in the past (in scripture, in the lives of others we know, and in our own lives) it can remove the doubts, distractions and discouragements we may be facing in our present and help us to then enter into true worship – truly agreeing with who God is and all He’s capable of according to scripture, and fully able to humble ourselves to trust His ways over our understanding and obey Him with submissive trusting hearts. As a commentary I once read from Deuteronomy once noted – REMEMBRANCE LEADS TO OBEDIENCE.

2.) PRIORITIZE our present thoughts, attitudes, and actions.

  •  Speaking about God’s goodness and truth reminds our minds, emotions and spirit of the right attitudes to have, words to speak, and actions to take.
  •  When we remember how God has provided for us financially in the past, for example, it helps us choose to trust and obey God’s instructions on finances in our present and trust He will provide faithfully for us again in our future.
  •  When we remember His faithfulness to us in the past, it helps us defeat doubts about His purpose and plan for our present unknowns and surrender and obey in the present.

3.) PROCLAIM God’s goodness to those who do not yet know God as Lord and Savior.

  • When we offer praise and worship God, what we are inwardly experiencing often is evident in our outward expression, which proclaims the truth, love, and power of God to the people around us. Biblical praise and worship often leads to an outward expression acknowledging who God is – which can encourage those around us who are followers of Christ in their faith and compel others who are living life without faith to seek the Lord.

4.) ANTICIPATE God’s faithfulness in our future. 

  • Remembering God’s Word and His history of faithfulness, and proclaiming it focusses our attention to His ability to be faithful to His promises in our future.

One of the portions of scripture I fell in love with when focussing on true praise and worship is 1 Chronicles 16…after the Ark of the Covenant has finally been brought to Jerusalem and David leads Israel in giving thanks and establishing a life of continual praise and worship for the nation. See how David helps those who hear his words to remember, prioritize their thoughts attitudes and actions, proclaim God’s glory to others, and anticipate God’s wonders through every circumstance as He writes:

David’s Song of Thanks

fOh give thanks to the LORD; gcall upon his name;

hmake known his deeds among the peoples!

Sing to him, sing praises to him;

tell of all his wondrous works!

10  Glory in his holy name;

let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice!

11  iSeek the LORD and his strength;

seek his presence continually!

12  jRemember the wondrous works that he has done,

khis miracles and the judgments he uttered,

13  O offspring of Israel his servant,

children of Jacob, his chosen ones!

14  He is the LORD our God;

lhis judgments are in all the earth.

15  Remember his covenant forever,

the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,

16  the covenant mthat he made with Abraham,

his sworn promise to Isaac,

17  which nhe confirmed to Jacob as a statute,

to Israel as an everlasting covenant,

18  saying, o“To you I will give the land of Canaan,

as your portion for an inheritance.”

19  When you were pfew in number,

of little account, and qsojourners in it,

20  wandering from nation to nation,

from one kingdom to another people,

21  he allowed no one to oppress them;

he rrebuked kings on their account,

22  saying, “Touch not my anointed ones,

do my sprophets no harm!”

23  tSing to the LORD, all the earth!

Tell of his salvation from day to day.

24  Declare his glory among the nations,

his marvelous works among all the peoples!

25  For ugreat is the LORD, and greatly to be praised,

and he is to be feared vabove all gods.

26  For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,

wbut the LORD made the heavens.

27  Splendor and majesty are before him;

strength and joy are in his place.

28  Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples,

xascribe to the LORD glory and strength!

29  Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;

bring an offering and come before him!

yWorship the LORD in the splendor of holiness;2

30  tremble before him, all the earth;

yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.

31  zLet the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice,

and let them say among the nations, a“The LORD reigns!”

32  bLet the sea roar, and all that fills it;

let the field exult, and everything in it!

33  Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy

before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth.

34  Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;

for his steadfast love endures forever!

35 cSay also:

“Save us, O God of our salvation,

and gather and deliver us from among the nations,

that we may give thanks to your holy name

and glory in your praise.

36  dBlessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,

from everlasting to everlasting!”

eThen all the people said, “Amen!” and praised the LORD.

Praise and Worship from scripture includes singing, playing an instrument, shouting, and proclaiming truth of scripture to yourself and to God aligning your heart in agreement with Who He is and surrendering your will to His. There is probably so much more to learn about how to praise and worship Him, but I hope this encourages you as it does me to focus my heart and will towards glorifying God through true, continual praise and worship!

Because music helps connect our head with our heart, here are three songs I adore –

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