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Human beings like to praise when they feel happy or joyous. Most of the time it is when things are going our way. That is when you hear songs like: “I can see everything turning around for my good”. Most human praise is conditional. We are accustomed to giving or receiving praise when something has been done to deserve it. Many of us do the same thing with God. If we feel He has served us well or come through with a miracle on our behalf, we praise Him. Songs like: “God is good, He’s good, He has done me well oh, my soul rise up and praise the Lord” come forth from our mouths. Otherwise, we don’t think about praising God much. The Psalmist however encourages us to praise God simply because He is God, not just because He has done something for us. He of course deserves our praise when He does something out of the realms of our imaginations for us, but He also deserves our praise anyway because He is God. We must therefore be determined to focus our prayer on the majesty, splendor, and glory of God rather than just on what we want God to do for us.
The different chapters in the Book of Psalms are devoted to praising God, but from Psalm 145- 150 the Psalms erupt in a non-stop song of praise. They include praises to God because of His majesty and love, praises to God because He is our help and the source of our happiness, praises to God for His word and providence, praises to God for all His wonderful creations, and praises to God for His salvation and His righteous judgement. The climax of these songs of praises in Psalms 150 exhorts us to “Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heaven! Praise Him for His mighty works; praise His unequaled greatness!” In short, we are asked to praise God not for only what He does but to also praise Him for who He is. King David knew how to throw a punch in praise. No wonder the Lord called him a man after His own heart. This brother knew how to praise and make the Lord happy with his genuine heart of praise and worship. He was wealthy so he was not praising God for what he can get out of Him but for who He is. In all that David did, as a shepherd boy, he praised God, as a warrior he praised God, as a King he built the house of praise and worship. Therefore, in fulfilling his God-given purpose, David praised God. In Psalm 9:1-2, he sings “I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.”
My brothers and sisters, let us emulate King David and develop a heart of constant praise for our Lord, indeed He has done so much for us. Even if we have a zillion tongues, it is not enough to praise Him. Let us live our lives in such a way that people will see us and give glory to our God who is in heaven. Recall the story of the man who received his healing from Apostle Peter in Acts 3:7. After his healing he went into the temple walking, jumping and praising God anyhow he could. Acts 3:9 tells us that the people were astounded about what had happened to him and how he was praising God. When we praise God with all we have and however we could, people will recognize the grace of God in our lives and that also in itself gives glory and honor to God. Psalm 150:6 says, “let everything that has breath praise the Lord”. My brothers and sisters, for just being alive this morning, praise God with all your being and “Let EVERYTHING that have breath PRAISE the Lord. Halleluia!”
January 15, 2023 – Pastor Toyin Odunaiya