The Promise is to You

The Dynamics of Praise

“Why would anyone want to spend their Friday night doing praise and worship?” We are frequently asked this. It begs a deeper question: What’s so important about praise?

In praise we recognize God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us, “Praise is the form of prayer which recognizes most immediately that God is God. It lauds God for his own sake and gives him glory, quite beyond what he does, but simply because HE IS” (CCC 2639). Scripture gives us examples of this. “For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised” (1 Chron 16:25). “For great is his steadfast love toward us; and the faithfulness of the Lord endures for ever. Praise the Lord!” (Ps 117:2).

“By praise, the Spirit is joined to our spirits” (CCC 2639). In the Trinity, the love that the Father and Son have for each other is so real that it is a person itself, the Holy Spirit. When we praise God, we participate in the adoration of the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit. In doing so, we enter further into the communion with God for which we were created (CCC 45).

We grow in deeper union with God. As we enter into communion with God, we grow in intimacy with him. The desire we have for the Lord, which is the core of true praise, along with our focus on who he is lead us into contemplating him. There we behold him, and our enthusiastic praise moves into worship. We are receptive to him, receiving his love and loving him in return. This is why prophetic words often follow our time of praise and worship on Friday nights. We are receptive to the Lord’s words.

Praise brings healing. Receiving God’s love affects our whole lives. At Upper Room we’ve received reports of physical, emotional, and spiritual healings happening during times of praise. Every week people who came in weighed down by heavy burdens lift their heads by the end of praise and leave with faces radiating joy.

Gratitude. God has given us life, love, salvation, a world full of blessings now and the promise of an even better one to come. How can we not thank him? “I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High” (Ps 7:17).

We were created for it. “He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved” (Eph 1:5-6). Our lives give praise to God by witnessing to the salvation Jesus won for us. When we live in that grace as adopted sons and daughters of the Father, we claim our deepest identity. We find true happiness and peace.

A life of praise is evangelistic. This doesn’t mean we need to say “Praise the Lord!” to everyone we meet. Rather when we live with an attitude of praise, filled with hope and joy in the Lord, others will notice. “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord” (Ps 40:3).

Praise is a powerful weapon. While our guardian angels love being in the presence of the Lord, demons hate it. They will try to pull us away through distractions, doubts, worries, self-consciousness, undue tiredness, sin and more. Praise focuses us on the Lord and strengthens our faith. We receive his power to win our spiritual battles much as some of the Old Testament battles were won (Josh 6:1-20; 2 Chron 20:22).

Praise isn’t optional. As if all these reasons aren’t enough, we are commanded repeatedly in Scripture to praise the Lord. “Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name” (Ps 30:4). “Let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name” (Heb 13:15).

The more often we choose to praise, the easier it becomes to “continually” do so. We’re also more likely to praise if we can do so with others and if there is live music to sing with. We learn from those around us, and a good worship team can lead us to praise in ways that we wouldn’t on our own.

In light of all this, a new question arises:
Why wouldn’t you want to spend Friday night in praise and worship?

By Christy Whiting, Upper Room Director

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