Praise and Thankfulness
How often do you show your appreciation to God for what He has done for you? Do you take the time to praise and thank God for his wonderful works in your life or the life of others? We should thank God for the many things He has done for us. We get so busy in the “rat race” that we neglect to slow down and appreciate God.
Thankfulness is a consistent theme in the Psalms. It highlights the importance of thanking and praising God for what He has done.
In this lesson, we will explore praising and thankfulness from the Psalms. First, we will examine several passages of Scripture about praising and thanking God. Next, I will discuss what praise is and other aspects of it.
Scriptures From Psalms
Psalm 9:1–2 (NKJV) — I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.
Praise God with the whole heart, i.e., genuine praise. Boast about what He has done for you.
Psalm 28:7 (NKJV) — The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him.
Praise God because He helped you when you trusted Him.
Psalm 30:1–4 (NKJV) — I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up, And have not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried out to You, And You healed me. O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.
Extol = exalt. Praise God because He saved you from destruction or even death.
Psalm 34:1–4 (NKJV) — I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together. I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.
Praise God because He answered your call and delivered you from your fears.
Psalm 57:9–11 (NKJV) — I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing to You among the nations. For Your mercy reaches unto the heavens, And Your truth unto the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; Let Your glory be above all the earth.
Praise God for his great mercy and truth.
Psalm 89:1 (NKJV) — I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever; With my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations.
Boast about God’s faithfulness and mercy.
Psalm 92:1–4 (NKJV) — It is good to give thanks to the Lord, And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, And Your faithfulness every night, On an instrument of ten strings, On the lute, And on the harp, With harmonious sound. For You, Lord, have made me glad through Your work; I will triumph in the works of Your hands.
- Thank and praise God for his lovingkindness, faithfulness, and the things He does for you.
- Praise God on musical instruments.
Psalm 103:1–5 (NKJV) — Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Bless = praise
Praise God for forgiveness, healing, redemption from destruction, lovingkindness, compassion, provisions, and strength.
Psalm 106:1–2 (NKJV) — Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord? Who can declare all His praise?
- Thanks, and praise God for his mercy and mighty acts.
- You can’t praise God enough
- You can’t testify of all that God has done for you
About Praising God
We are often told that we should praise God, which is true. However, what does it mean to praise God, and how do we do it? What is meant by praise and worship in the context of church services? Let’s answer these and other questions regarding praising God.
What it Means to Praise God
- Praising God means glorifying Him. To glorify means to boast or honor. Therefore, we boast about what God has done for us or someone else.
- Praise is closely related to thankfulness because boasting about something someone did usually corresponds to being thankful that they did it. Therefore, praising God can be thought of as an expression of your gratitude for something He did for you.
How Do We Praise God?
There is no set way to praise God because it is personal. However, we find different ways that people praised God in the Bible.
- Singing: Ps 40:3, 47:7, 149:1, Ex 15:1-21, 2 Ch 5:13
- Musical instruments: Ps 43:4, 71:22, 150:3-5
- Dancing: Ps 149:3, Ex 15:20
- Speaking: Ps 51:15, 63:5, Heb 13:15
- Public worship: Ps 100:1-5
- Spiritual fruit through Jesus Christ: Php 1:11
Praising God must come from the heart to be genuine.
- Praising God is an act that originates from the heart. It is not mere actions. For example, clapping or raising one’s hands on command in a church service is not necessarily praising God.
- Praising God and the expression of it is personal. People praise God in their own way. Some may indeed raise their hands, sing, or even clap.
- Praising God can be a lifestyle as well. You give glory to God when your light so shines before men that they see your good works and glorify God (See Matthew 5:16). Some people praise, i.e., boast about God by talking to others and sharing how God has blessed them.
- Praise is not synonymous with noise. God can be praised by simple things: e.g., talking to a stranger about what He did for you.
- We should be careful not to think of praise and worship solely in the context of a church service where people are raising their hands, shouting, singing, etc.
Acknowledging God is a vital component of you praising God.
Proverbs 3:6 (NKJV) — 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
Acknowledging God means being aware of Him or recognizing His presence in your life experiences. Therefore, we have many opportunities to praise God. Below are some examples.
- You recognize that God helped you with a financial problem
- You realize that God helped you overcome a challenge
- You acknowledge that God rescued you from danger
- You acknowledge that God caused something to happen for your benefit
After all, how can you praise God for what He has done if you don’t realize He did it?
Acknowledging God has the benefit of helping us build a personal relationship with Him?
Opportunities To Praise God
We know that God is not a puppet master making us do things at His command. The Bible reveals that He works through people, events, and circumstances to cause things to happen. Therefore, even though a specific person may have directly helped you, it is still good to acknowledge God for working behind the scenes for your benefit.
Get Him involved and you’ll have more reasons to praise Him. We can create opportunities to praise God by calling on Him for help, guidance, etc., and recognizing Him in situations.
Acknowledging God in your life situations will give you plenty of opportunities to praise and thank Him.
Thanking God is how we express gratitude and appreciation for what God has done for us. Studies have shown that there are benefits to expressing gratitude.
A benefit of thanking God is that it provides a way to interact with Him in everyday life circumstances.
Don’t take God for granted. Remember to show gratitude when He helps you. Acknowledging God in your everyday life will significantly help you remember to thank and praise God.
Thank God while walking down the street, standing in line at a grocery store, driving to work or school, etc. You don’t have to abide by a religious protocol to thank God. Just thank Him for something He did for you in whatever manner is conducive to your personality (and is respectful, of course)
Praise and Worship
I want to point out the fundamental difference between praise and worship. The term “praise and worship” is prevalent in church services and the like, but I believe that many people don’t know what it really means. Below is the fundamental difference between the two.
- Praise is a response to what God has done for us or others. For example, we praise God for rescuing us, helping us, healing us, etc.
- Worship is a response to God Himself, i.e., who He is. For example, we worship God when we think of Him personally, not what He has done.
Genuine praise and worship come from the heart and are more than mere actions like shouting, raising your hands, playing music, etc.
Praise is a common theme in the Psalms, as well as the entire Bible. We should praise God for what He has done for us and be thankful that He did. We found that there are many ways and opportunities to praise God when we recognize Him operating in our lives.
We found that worship is quite different from praise in that it is a response to God Himself and not what He has done.
Learn to acknowledge God throughout the day and praise Him for helping you in so many situations.
Praising and thanking God will help you build a personal and intimate relationship with God as you interact with Him and recognize Him working in your everyday life. Start praising and thanking God more today!