For the next 31 days, I will be linking up (along with myriad more bloggers) with The Nester for the 31 Days challenge. And to be quite honest, I am suddenly very nervous. Posting for 31 days on the same topic?! Will I be able to do this? Well, I am surely going to try! My topic of choice? PRAISE
Let’s go ahead and get the academic discussion of praise out of the way from the beginning, shall we?
1. (noun) the act of expressing approval or admiration; commendation; laudation.
2. (verb) to offer grateful homage to (God or a deity), as in words or song.
3. (idiom) sing someone’s praises, to praise someone publicly and enthusiastically:
synonyms: compliment, applaud, glorify, exalt, honor.
antonyms: blame, censure, condemnation, criticism
The bible speaks of 7 ways to praise God: Yadah, Towdah, Barak, Tehillah, Zamar, Halal, and Shabach. (Ok, got that? Pop quiz at the end of the post… no, just kidding…)
Yadah means to show reverence or praise with extended hands. Have you ever seen a child who wanted so badly to be picked up and held in their loving parent’s arms? Get the picture?! We extend our hands/arms to our heavenly Father, much like a child reaching out to be held. No, just like a child reaching out to be held. And hold us he does!
Psalm 63:4 I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.
Towdah means to show agreement with by extending the right hand. Today’s equivalent would be a handshake, but this is much like the sacrifices given in thanks to God. I am not totally sure how the handshake has taken the place of a sacrifice to God (although I do agree that we use a handshake to seal an agreement of covenant)… so, for this one I am a bit at a loss.
Psalm 50:23 Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me, and to the blameless I will show my salvation.
Barak means to kneel down as a sign of adoration and reverence. As we kneel before our Lord, we humble ourselves in worship. This is a much more reverent and solemn act of praise. It does not create the same hoopla as some of the other forms of praise, but it does create an intimacy with God that cannot be replaced.
Psalm 95:6 Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
Tehillah is the spontaneous singing that pours straight from our hearts. It’s spontaneous. It’s unrehearsed. It is praise through singing straight to God.
Psalm 33:1 Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
Zamar is to celebrate in song and music. This is the praise most of us are used to. When we lift our voices in songs put to music as we open our worship services or invite the Holy Spirit into our events.
Psalm 150:3-5 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.
Halal is where you can let loose and step outside of what is proper for a moment. It means to be clamorously foolish. To boast. To shine. Remember David dancing before the Ark of the Covenant? His behavior drew the disdain of his wife for his undignified display… but he was openly praising the Lord. (2 Samuel 6)
Shabach means to address in a loud tone. This is where one shouts “hallelujah” or “praise the Lord” in an act of worship. If you’re happy and you know it shout “amen!”!
Psalm 63:3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.
If you’re like me, that’s a lot to take in! I think at some point in my walk with God, I have praised Him in each of these ways (accept the handshake… although for Lent, I make sacrifices. But I don’t think that is the same thing.) As a musical person, I find myself most often praising God through song. And that is also the way I most often feel connected to Him during our worship service. What about you? How do you feel most comfortable praising God?
Do you have a personal relationship with God? If not, are you interested in getting to know our Creator so intimately that you can feel His presence in your life daily? If so, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org! I am happy to pray with you and help lead you to know Jesus!