Summary: This message was a part of a celebration service we did on the final service of the year. We included numerous testimonies in a vareity of forms (video, voice-overs, text on PowerPoint, etc.). It was a powerful service!
Pointers on Praise
One Sunday a visitor showed up in a more formal, liturgical church than he was used to attending. The church was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. That made it all the more obvious when this visitor got excited about something the minister said and he shouted out “Praise the Lord!”
What was second nature to this newcomer was behavior that shocked and even scared the faithful in this setting where they were not used to such exuberant expressions of worship. Nobody had ever done anything like that before.
One of the regular attenders leaned forward and tapped the man on the shoulder and whispered, “We don’t praise the Lord around here.”
Someone seated nearby heard this exchange and they said, “Yes we do. It’s on page 15 of the Lectionary.”
I am happy to report that we do praise the Lord around here. This morning, I want to offer you Ten Pointers on Praise. We will have to write fast because I want to get back to some more of these good testimonies we have been hearing. This may be the fastest ten points you will ever hear. Are you ready?
1. We can praise God collectively. It is good for us to praise God together.
2. We can praise God individually.
And our praise should not be limited to a Sunday morning worship experience or at a celebration like this. It should be a part of who we are as God’s kids. We can and should learn to praise God corporately, but we also need to praise God individually.
It is good for us to praise the Lord. The Bible tells us that…
3. God inhabits the praises of His people.
In other words, God dwells in the presence of His praise. Praise is not merely a reaction from coming into His presence. Praise is a vehicle of faith which brings us into the powerful presence of God!
4. The Bible instructs us again and again to praise the Lord.
Psalms 106:1 (NLT)
1 Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
Psalms 107:8 (NLT)
8 Praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done.
An entire chapter sums up an appeal to give praise to our heavenly Father…
Psalms 117:1-2 (NLT)
1 Praise the Lord, all you nations. Praise him, all you people of the earth.
2 For he loves us with unfailing love; the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever. Praise the Lord!
5. There is power in your praise.
One of the reasons that praise is so powerful is #6…
6. Praise gets our focus back where it belongs…on God.
7. Praise helps us keep a biblical perspective on life.
When our focus is on God, and we have a biblical perspective on life, everything looks different. And the good news is that praise is something we can all do. Nobody has to be left out. That’s because we can all choose to praise.
8. Praise is an act of the will. We do it on purpose.
Sometimes praise is natural and sometimes it is intentional.
Psalms 145:21 (NLT)
21 I will praise the Lord, and may everyone on earth bless his holy name forever and ever.
Take Paul and Silas for example. There in that lonely prison cell, do you think they felt like singing at midnight? You don’t feel like praising God when you are in jail. You especially don’t feel like praising God when you are in jail at midnight. But that is what they did. As an act of the will, they chose to praise on purpose. It was an expression of their faith and their trust in Him.