Perhaps you’ve never thought of praise as a need. After all, God doesn’t need you to tell Him He’s great, does He? Of course not. Here’s why you need to praise God.
When you need to praise God
There are those times when the warmth of the sun melts my heart. There are days when the colour of the trees in spring-bloom pop against the clear-blue sky. When all is well with my soul, my praise is spontaneous. I couldn’t contain it if I tried. It’s good to praise God on these days.
Then there’s dreary, grey-sky days of life. On those days, I’m not in the mood. Yes, I know my God is worthy. So I struggle through half-heart attempts. I repeat the lyrics from praise and worship songs. However, it feels repetitious and pretentious. I just can’t think up the right words. I can’t conjure up the feelings I think I ought to have to make my praise authentic. I give up in frustration. I promise myself to try again another day. Do you know what I mean?
It’s on those grey-sky days you and I need to praise God the most. Praise transforms our thinking. When you and I are anxious or afraid, praise reminds us God is an ever-present help. When you are sad, it’s necessary to recall that God really cares. When I’m being tempted, praise diverts my attention to God’s power. From inward to upward; from self to God; praise declares, “there are better days ahead”.
Why you need to practice praise
1. It’s an intention of will.
Praise is a habit we must develop. Unlike many of David’s psalms, in Psalm 103, there is no asking for forgiveness; there’s no cry for deliverance; no begging for retribution or for help of any kind. Just two self-commands: a). Praise the LORD, O my soul. And, b). Don’t forget His benefits.
It would be easy to convince ourselves that because David wrote so many of the psalms, praising God just came naturally to him. It didn’t. David commanded his soul to praise God. As if to say, “Come on, soul. Get engaged!” This from the greatest worship leader EVER!
Like you and I, David was quick to forget God’s character and benefits. David often struggled with doubt. He wondered if the LORD had forgotten all about him. So, no matter how bad things got, David forced himself to declare, “God is good”.
2. Praise displaces pride
David was a man who, having committed adultery, gave the authoritative order for a man’s murder. David did this to cover up his unfaithfulness. Afterwards, when David confessed his sin, he found profound mercy and grace from his Heavenly Father. Even so, David continued to struggle with his pride.
When David was too self-sufficient, he got himself in trouble – again. Pride is dangerous. It fuels mistrust so you usurps God’s throne. When you are filled with conceit, watch out! Something will happen to make you look foolish.
On the other hand, praise reminds you that God is God and you are not. It forces you to recall God’s ways, which are so often in conflict with your own, are sovereign and best. When you acknowledge God is creator and sustainer of the whole universe, your trust is restored. Either way, life is in His hands.
You were born with a need to praise Him
God formed us for Himself that we might declare His praise. Isaiah 43:21. Obviously, God doesn’t need our affirmations. He’s not lacking in confidence, nor is He puffed-up and demanding of our adoration either. A dark and troubled world needs to hear us shout God’s praise. When we offer praise to God, we fulfill our calling.
Why you really need to praise God
Most importantly, praise is what opens your heart to a deeper, more intimate relationship with the LORD. It’s your sacrificial offering to God. Hebrews 3:15. Loved one, your praise blesses God’s heart! I hope you are encouraged knowing the “Man-after-God’s-own-heart” needed to practice praising God.
Need some help to get started?
Here’s a couple of suggestions: Open up your Bible to Psalm 103, or any other psalm. Get on your knees. Make the words personal. Pray out loud. Practice this daily.
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