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What the Bible says about Praise and Worship:
Week 2: The Whys, Whens, Wheres, and Hows of Praise!


 

I. This week, we're going to focus on praise, and discuss:

A. Why should we praise? 
B. When should we praise? 
C. Where should we praise? 
D. How should we praise?

II. Why should we praise God? Ask everyone:

A. It's a command - Psalm 117:1 (Paul quotes this in Romans 15:11); Psalm 150:1. 
B. God's worthy of our praise - Revelation 4:11. 
C. We were created to praise God - I Peter 2:9; Isaiah 43:21. 
D. It's good to praise God (Psalm 92:1)/The Lord is good (Psalm 135:3). 
E. There's power in praise - it helps us focus on God, we stop and let Him start (II Chronicles 20:19-21).

III. When should we praise? Ask again:

    A. At all times. Psalm 34:1. 
    B. There's a catch here: all times means ALL TIMES!
      1. When we feel like it - James 5:13 
      2. When we don't feel like it - Job 1:21 
      3. True emotionalism is to refrain from praising when we don't feel up to it. Obviously, our emotions can and should show up in our praise (if we love someone, emotion will be there), but our feelings are secondary. Praise is a sacrifice/an act of the will. 

IV. Where should we praise? Ask again!!!:

    A. Everywhere, if we're to praise at all times.
    B. Psalms does make special mention of two specific places to praise, also: 
      1. In the congregation - Psalm 22:22,25 
        a. Gives us unity as a body 
        b. Not uniformity, but unity of spirit 
      2. Before all men and nations Psalm 96:3 
        a. Shouldn't worry about unbelievers seeing our praise. 
        b. God wants that

V. How should we praise? Ask if anyone remembers the four basic types of P&W from last week's lesson:

    A. Praise is physical: 
      1. Lifting our hands Psalm 134:2; I Timothy 2:8. 
        a. A symbol that show us receiving everything God is doing in our lives, or a visual opening of our hearts to God, like baptism is a symbol of our salvation. A football receiver stretches out his arms to catch the ball - when we lift our hands, it shows a willingness to accept and receive all that God has for us.
        b. Vulnerable and unprotected posture - (a stick up?) Arms  
        crossed = a self-protective stance. Lifting hands = open hearts  
        and lives before God. A trust thing. 
         
        c. Child reaching to the Father.
      2. Clapping hands Psalm 47:1. 
        a. Wasn't to merely keep the beat 
        b. another form of making a joyful noise unto the Lord. 
      3. Kneeling, bowing and prostration - Psalm 95:6; Revelation 4:9-10, 19:4.   
      4. Dancing - Exodus 15:20-21; II Samuel 6:14-16; Psalm 149:3.
    B. Praise is audible: 
      1. Singing - most common today - much in Psalms/Paul also mentions it/ Jesus does it. Psalm 47:6 (all Psalms were meant to be songs), Ephesians 5:19. 
        a. Music and singing, as art forms, help us lift our hearts to God.
      2. Speaking - proclaim your praise - Psalm 26:7, Revelation 4:8,10.  3. Shouting - Psalm 47:1; Psalm 66:1.  4. Playing of musical instruments Psalm 150:3-5; different instruments. 
        a. A Variety - Not just organs and pianos. 
        b. Exodus 15: 20-21 - tamborines only. 
        c. Psalm 150 - many instruments.
    C. In spirit and in truth (John 4:24):
      1. Both really relate strongly to our hearts and our minds.  
      2. Spirit:
        a. God is spirit - Our spirits link with God's Spirit when we worship. 
        b. We draw close to Him through the Holy Spirit. 
        c. We respond to who God is through our spirits, from the whole of our inmost being. 
      3. Truth (two ways to view truth): 
        a. You have to mean it, or it isn't truthful worship. 
        b. Worship according to scripture. By that, I mean that our expressions of worship should be guided by the Bible. 

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1998 David L. King Updated: 8/24/00