Reclaim the Lost Art of Praise

In a season of giving thanks for what you have, don’t forget to give praise for what God offers.

Posted in , Nov 20, 2017


Every autumn, people in the U.S. and Canada celebrate Thanksgiving. We give thanks for health, safety, prosperity, freedom and more. It is good to express our gratitude to God for our blessings—and even our challenges. But in all our “thanksgiving,” we may tend to neglect praise. Praise is different from giving thanks. In fact, some (such as me, for instance) might say that praising God is becoming a lost art in our lives, homes and churches.

Giving thanks focuses on our blessings; giving praise focuses on God’s attributes and accomplishments. Both are expressed directly to God and both may reflect on what God has done, but praise may be a bit larger and higher than thanks, because it is not confined to what He has done for us. Giving thanks comes fairly easily to most people, but praise can seem less natural. If that’s the case for you, try reclaiming the lost art of praise by following the examples of the psalmists. Praise God for: 

God’s Name/The Names of Jesus
“I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will sing the praises of your name” (Psalm 18:49, NIV). See also Psalm 54:6.

God’s Might
“Be exalted in your strength, Lord; we will sing and praise your might” (Psalm 21:13, NIV). 

His Kingship
“Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises” (Psalm 22:3, NIV). See also Psalm 47:7, 146:10.

God’s Deeds
“I wash my hands in innocence, and go about your altar, Lord, proclaiming aloud your praise and telling of all your wonderful deeds” (Psalm 26:6-7, NIV). See also Psalm 72:18, 75:1, 105:2, 106:2.

God’s Attentiveness
“Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy” (Psalm 28:6, NIV). See also Psalm 68:19.

His Holiness
“Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name” (Psalm 30:4, NIV).

The Wonders of His Love
“Praise be to the Lord, for he showed me the wonders of his love” (Psalm 31:21, NIV). See also Psalm 66:20. 

God’s Righteousness
“My tongue will proclaim your righteousness, your praises all day long” (Psalm 35:28, NIV). See also Psalm 48:10.

God’s Greatness
“Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God, his holy mountain” (Psalm 48:1, NIV). See also Psalm 145:3.

God’s Word
“In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise” (Psalm 56:10, NIV). See also Psalm 112:1, 119:164.

His Creation
“Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and all that move in them” (Psalm 69:34, NIV). See also Psalm 139:14.

His Faithfulness
“From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you” (Psalm 71:6, NIV). See also Psalm 89:5. 

God’s Beauty and Splendor
“My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long” (Psalm 71:8, NIV). See also Psalm 104:1. 

His Promises
“Then they believed his promises and sang his praise” (Psalm 106:12, NIV).

God’s Goodness
“Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good” (Psalm 135:3, NIV).

Those themes are just the beginning, of course. But they are a beginning. Why not focus some of your prayers these next couple weeks on each of these themes, praising God, for “How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!” (Psalm 147:1, NIV).  

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