The word “praise” is found many places in the Scriptures. In Hosea 14:1-2 (NIV), for instance, Hosea says, “Return, Israel, to the Lord your God. Your sins have been your downfall! Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to Him: ‘Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips.’” Recognizing our sins and asking forgiveness has to come first before our praise is real.
Praise is not merely a component of our life, it is meant to be demonstrated with every aspect of our life all the time. Often we think praise comes in the form of singing hymns or pouring out a prayer of praise to the Lord. I don’t mean to say that it is not these things; it most certainly is! But it can be so much more! The Lord has been showing me over the last few months how every activity I do throughout my day can serve as an act of praise to Him! We have so much to be thankful for that if we were to fill the entire day with praising God for what He has done in our lives and the blessing He has bestowed upon us, we still would run out of time!
As a biology major in college, I was taught to see the origin of life and the universe through the eyes of evolution. Naturalistic science is the measure of truth in that frame of reference, and this seems to imply something entirely different than what the Bible says. Naturalistic science rules out the existence of God by definition because it leaves no room for supernatural explanations. Hence, when I looked at the heavens, I saw nothing there that spoke to me about God—indeed, I saw just the opposite.
During many worship services in my early Christian life, the worship became a “worship of the worship” rather than a praise to God and a true bowing down to all that He is in reverence and praise to Him. In fact, the carnal feelings it brought was akin to the carnal feelings I had at dances I went to before being saved. Many mistake the carnal good feelings for spiritual experience or the presence of God.
God desires praise at all times. Three Hebrew words often translated as “praise” mean to “give thanks, confess, to sing praise, honor, or commend.” All these meanings contain the idea of acknowledging God’s hand in your life for good, regardless of what your present circumstances are.