‘This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in Him’’-Psalm 118:24
All of us have been rewarded abundantly by the Lord, in these trying years; in one wonderful way or the other. Be it academic success, a fruitful relationship, a blossoming friendship, great family times or even the ownership of a mere gadget that we’ve always desired-it has simply come our way because the Lord has worked in our favour.
I remember as kids, how we’d so joyfully sing praise and worship songs at Mass and during catechism, with all our earnest innocence and child-like fervor. It suffices for me to say, that however, it isn’t the same with us anymore. Sometimes, we even grow a pint selfish; for when good things happen to us, we forget to thank the Lord, and often, go as far as to think that it is either our pure luck, or entirely of our own doing.
So why praise? Even when things seem to be going okay? Well, primarily because He is the sole reason! He is the lone cause for all the good things; even the bad, let alone our so-called pure ‘luck’. Praise goes hand-in-hand with thanks and since we have a lot to thank God for, we might as well praise Him!
Now we think, what’s in it for me? Surely enough, most of us have experienced a greater degree of closeness towards God, during a time of praise and worship, which makes the former so important! Just as every relationship requires regular cementing; praising Him is the very act that can paint our lackluster spiritual wall. For people of our age and standing, the edgy beats of gospel artiste, Paul Baloche or the likes of band NewSong, are sure to mentally uplift us and place us in a more comfortable position with God. Hence, we need not adopt the same method of praise that adults around us do.
Praise to our Yahweh, however, shouldn’t be confused with a shower of flattery. I remember the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector (Luke 18:9-14) who differ in their forms of praise. The former, though more religious, is less humble and praises God for making him better off than the latter- which is what God does not want. He wants us to thank Him for what He has blessed us with, not the despicable circumstances He has saved us from. Our ordinary life itself, thus, is a powerful tool of praise. Hence, author Stormie Omartian instructs us to adopt praise as the first response to everything that happens in our lives.
Praise isn’t just a duty-it’s more of an obligation! This fact is reiterated throughout our Scriptures-the psalmist cries out to us-“Praise the Lord my soul and do not forget how kind He is” in Ps103:2. 1Chron 16:8-36 also holds a beautiful Song of Praise which underlines to us exactly why our God is so praiseworthy. But the best of all is what Paul writes to the Thessalonians in 1Thess 5:18– “Rejoice always, be thankful in all circumstances, this is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus”. Moreover, Jesus, in his teachings, warns against praising Him ostentatiously in Matt 6:5.
But what happens when we fail to praise Him? We may feel like lesser persons, unworthy of Him, and in need of His Light. Praise helps to dispel exactly this. At this point in our lives, our journey of praise should start with a realization that His name has always been blessed and worthy of praise, and then; we should continue to praise Him, with all the sincerity that we’ve ever known.
You can be sure that He’ll always be on the other end of the phone, so you can definitely make your call of praise anytime. And if a new kind of praise has to evolve from you, then so be it!