“I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders. I will be glad and exult in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.” (Psalm 9:1-2)
Psalm 9 opens in :1-2 by describing four distinctive ways that God’s people can praise Him:
— “GIVE THANKS to the Lord” One of the easiest ways to praise is to give thanks. The smallest child knows how to do that: just thank God for what He has done for you. Notice also that this thanks is to be “with all my heart” — so it is no “rote” thanksgiving that is commended, but from a heart that really appreciates what God has done.
— “TELL of all Thy wonders” Another way to praise God is to talk about the marvelous things He has done. You can tell HIM, in prayer, but perhaps even better, you can share what He has done with other people, who will benefit from your testimony. And notice that it is: “tell of ALL Your wonders.” He has done many miraculous things, so it should not be hard for us to come up with something to share which praises Him!
— “Be GLAD and EXULT in Thee.” This one is a little different. It is not something we “do” as much as it is something we “are”. It is a state of being, of being satisfied in The Lord. When God’s people are happy in Him, it is a great praise to His name. And note that the happiness of God’s people is in HIM — God Himself — not in their circumstances! Psalm 4:7 says, “You have put gladness in my heart, more than when their grain and new wine abound.” In other words, this is a happiness that is based on more than fortuitous circumstances, but in the blessedness of one’s relationship with God Himself.
— “I will SING PRAISE to Your name.” A wonderful way to praise God is just to sing to Him. There are multiple commands in scripture for God’s people to sing to Him, so we should not omit this important means of praising Him. And be sure to notice that the command is not merely to “sing”, or to sing about anything in general, but to sing “PRAISE”, and to sing it to “HIM.”
God commands us in Psalm 100:4 to “enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.” So it is good for Christians to begin our prayer times by praising Him. Psalm 9:1-2 shows us just HOW we can do that each day, with these “four ways to praise.”