Part 1 - Encountering God and Enlisting Heaven
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…
1 Peter 2:9 (NKJV)
God be merciful to us and bless us, And cause His face to shine upon us, That Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations. Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You.
Psalm 67:1-3 (NKJV)
Understanding the Realities of Praise
Praise is ________________ the wonders of God’s person.
Make a joyful shout to God, all the earth! Sing out the honor of His name; Make His praise glorious. Say to God, “How awesome are Your works! Through the greatness of Your power Your enemies shall submit themselves to You….” Come and see the works of God; He is awesome in His doing toward the sons of men.
Psalm 66:1-3, 5 (NKJV)
He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be astounded. They will put their trust in the LORD.
Psalm 40:3 (NLT)
Praise is _______________ the presence of God and being consumed by His beauty.
I’m asking God for one thing, only one thing: To live with him in his house my whole life long. I’ll contemplate his beauty; I’ll study at his feet.
Psalm 27:4 (MSG)
You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
Psalm 73:24-25 (NIV)
Praise is ________________ in the glory of God and enjoying all He has for us.
Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:3-4 (NIV)
Blessed are the people who know the passwords of praise, who shout on parade in the bright presence of God. Delighted, they dance all day long; they know who you are, what you do—they can’t keep it quiet! Your vibrant beauty has gotten inside us—you’ve been so good to us! We’re walking on air!
Psalm 89:15-17 (MSG)
Praise is ________________ the enemies of God by enthroning the presence of God.
But you [God] are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel.
Psalm 22:3 (NKJV)
Then Hezekiah prayed to GOD: “GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies, enthroned over the cherubim-angels, you are God, the only God there is, God of all kingdoms on earth. You made heaven and earth… But now step in, O GOD, our God. Save us from him. Let all the kingdoms of earth know that you and you alone are GOD… Then the Angel of GOD arrived and struck the Assyrian camp—185,000 Assyrians died. By the time the sun came up, they were all dead—an army of corpses!
Isaiah 37:15-16, 20, 36 (MSG)
AFTERTHOUGHTS… PONDER AND PRAY
Ponder what you feel it means to discover the wonders of God’s person. King David spoke of beholding or contemplating the “beauty of the Lord.” How would you define this? Journal your thoughts in the space that follows.
Prayerfully express your desire to learn to praise God more. Focus on a particular need or issue in your life (or the lives of others) and then verbally declare your delight in God “over” this need or issue.
Part 2 - Understanding the Realities of Praise (Continued)
Praise is ________________ the nature and character of God through exalting His name.
My praise shall be of You in the great assembly; I will pay My vows before those who fear Him.
Psalm 22:25 (NKJV)
According to Your name, O God, So is Your praise to the ends of the earth; Your right hand is full of righteousness.
Psalm 48:10 (NKJV)
I will praise you forever, O God, for what you have done. I will wait for your mercies in the presence of your people.
Psalm 52:9 (NLT)
Praise is ________________ the awesome greatness of God and His salvation to the nations.
Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples… Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth. Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns.” The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.
Psalm 96:1-3, 9-10 (NIV)
Praise is _________________ strongholds of spiritual opposition by exalting God.
We are human, but we don’t wage war with human plans and methods. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the Devil’s strongholds. With these weapons we break down every proud argument that keeps people from knowing God. With these weapons we conquer their rebellious ideas, and we teach them to obey Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NLT)
Around midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a great earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!
Acts 16:25-26 (NLT)
Praise is _______________ ourselves to practicing God’s presence in continual worship.
I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Psalm 34:1 (NKJV)
Then I will tell everyone of your justice and goodness, and I will praise you all day long.
Psalm 35:28 (NLT)
O God, we give glory to you all day long and constantly praise your name.
Psalm 44:8 (NLT)
AFTERTHOUGHTS… PONDER AND PRAY
Ponder what you feel it means to practice the presence of God daily. What do you think it means to cultivate a lifestyle of worship? Journal your thoughts in the space that follows.
Take time in praise to define as many aspects of God’s nature and character as you can think of. Declare these qualities about God verbally in actual praise (e.g., “God, I praise you because you are ____________ , etc.”).
Part 3 - Understanding the Realities of Praise (Continued)
Praise is ___________________ the righteousness and glory of God through expressive worship.
David and all Israel were celebrating before God with all their might, singing and playing all kinds of musical instruments—lyres, harps, tambourines, cymbals, and trumpets.
1 Chronicles 13:8 (NLT)
I have taken a stand, and I will publicly praise the LORD.
Psalm 26:12 (NLT)
And David danced before the LORD with all his might, wearing a priestly tunic. So David and all Israel brought up the Ark of the LORD with much shouting and blowing of trumpets.
2 Samuel 6:14-15 (NLT)
Praise is ________________ ourselves to a consistency in daily, personal praise.
The work of the Levites was to assist the priests, the descendants of Aaron, as they served at the house of the LORD… And each morning and evening they stood before the LORD to sing songs of thanks and praise to him.
1 Chronicles 23:28a, 30 (NLT)
I will praise you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. I will praise you every day, and I will praise you forever.
Psalm 145:1-2 (NLT)
Praise is ________________ principalities and powers of darkness by triumphing in our praises over them.
Save us, O LORD our God, And gather us from among the Gentiles, To give thanks to Your holy name, To triumph in Your praise.
Psalm 106:47 (NKJV)
Early the next morning the army of Judah went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. On the way Jehoshaphat stopped and said, “Listen to me, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm. Believe in his prophets, and you will succeed.” After consulting the leaders of the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the LORD and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang: “Give thanks to the LORD; his faithful love endures forever!” At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the LORD caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves.
2 Chronicles 20:20-22 (NLT)
Praise is _______________ to self through an ongoing sacrifice of personal praise.
Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name.
Hebrews 13:15 (NKJV)
I will sacrifice a voluntary offering to you; I will praise your name, O LORD, for it is good.
Psalm 54:6 (NLT)
AFTERTHOUGHTS… PONDER AND PRAY
Ponder why you see praise as an important devotional discipline, just like prayer itself. Why do you think praise has the capacity to disarm principalities and powers? Journal your thoughts in the space that follows.
Focus prayerfully on strongholds of the enemy you see potentially hindering your life, the lives of others, and even our culture. Then, begin to praise God (enthrone Him) in these situations. Declare His glory over specific strongholds or issues.