Someone may ask: “How should I praise God? What exactly should I do?” One might think that there is some complicated, Biblical formula for praise, but the truth is there is a very simple one found in the Book of Psalms.
The Psalms are songs of praise to God, and contain a great deal of insight on how to worship God. One of the things they reveal to us is that praising God does not have to be complicated. In fact, repeated throughout the Psalms is a simple, “one -two” combination for praise: giving thanks, and singing.
Psalm 30 is one place where this simple combination is found. Verse 4 says, “Sing praise to the Lord, you His godly ones, and give thanks to His holy name.” At the end of the Psalm, in :12, we find that same pair: “That my soul may sing praise to Thee and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to Thee forever.” How would David praise God for his deliverance? By singing, and by giving thanks.
This gives us a very simple, and do-able prescription for praising God in our own prayer times. We don’t have to memorize complex Hebrew names for deity to praise God effectively! Just sing songs of praise to Him, and give Him thanks. That’s simple enough for a child to do. In fact, that’s even simple enough for an adult to do! 🙂
Jesus taught us in the Model Prayer of Matthew 6 that we should begin our prayer time with praise. The first request of that prayer is “Hallowed be Thy name”. Psalm 100 famously teaches us to “enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.” But it doesn’t have to be complex. Begin your prayer time each morning by singing one or two songs or hymns of praise that you have learned in church — sing them to Him; God is your audience. Then spend some time just thanking Him for those things for which you are grateful. When you have finished those two things, you can move on to confession of sin, or intercession or some other aspect of your prayer time.
There is more to prayer than praise, but praise is vital. It “sets the tone” for our prayer time by reminding us who God is, and what He can do. Plus He is just absolutely worthy of our praise! It is what we were designed to do, and will be our continual, joyous occupation in heaven. But you don’t have to be a Hebrew scholar to praise God. If you are not doing it already, I hope you will begin today: sing to Him a song of praise, and give Him thanks!