“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
Psalm 34:1 KJV
How are you filling your soul this summer?
I’ve camped out in the Psalms. Reading through this beautiful poetic book and praying much of the prose, I find that my soul fills with more of God.
The time spent in praise is a gift I am greatly treasuring. I’ve pondered the power of praise and noted the various ways it benefits and fills me. Here are a few of them…
Praise is worship.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
And with my song I praise him. Psalm 28:7 (NIV)
Worship is an act of affection to God, and praise celebrates what God has done. I often read parts of the Psalms aloud to the Lord, showering love on Him with words that start in my heart. Come, let us adore Him with our voices and hearts.
Praise is therapy.
“Hear my voice, God, in my complaint…” Psalm 64:1 NASB (A Psalm of David)
David was honest with God. We, too, can be honest, and God listens. Giving Him our questions and pouring out our pain is therapeutic. Crying out to God, even calling out in frustration with Him begins to release the pain inside our souls and the grip our struggles have over us. We can fix our praise on Him, no matter what is taking us down, and be assured He is holding us in His hands.
Praise takes me out of myself
“Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.” Psalm 22:3 NLT
Praise often takes the form of thanksgiving. Thanksgiving turns us away from the mirror of self (selfishness, pride, shame, etc.) and onto all we get to be grateful for. As God inhabits the praise of those who love Him, the focus turns us toward His holiness and His presence. And in our gratefulness, we yield ourselves to Him and His will.
Praise fills me with encouragement
“In His presence, there is fullness of joy.” Psalm 16:11 ESV
Do you notice the feeling of refreshment and renewal in His presence when you praise Him? This joyful peace refuels and buoys us; God changes our hearts as we come with a spirit of praise. This practice builds joy by filling us with His courage, strength, and perseverance.
Praise is a gift I can give God
“Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O LORD, and teach me your rules.” Psalm 119:108 ESV
Hebrews calls it a “sacrifice of praise” (13:15), this sacrifice of our heart. Here we acknowledge the Lord’s attributes. There’s been many a morning when I do NOT feel like praising Him. It almost feels like a sacrifice (Yes, relative to other struggles, this is small, especially compared to the trials so many endure, but it’s not always what I want to do) to open His word and to pray. But doing this connects me with Him and gets my focus off me. And this gift is the least I can give my Savior.
Praise is so much more than this, and how I wish we could sit over tea and talk about what praise means to you. I would tell you I am learning how a lifestyle of praise lets God be God in my life. That praise is vitally important in my relationship with Him. And it takes my eyes off the sometimes-spinning messiness of my life and reminds me of who holds me together.
Oh, how I love to sing His praises!