Why do we go to church?
To pray to God?
To visit with others?
To learn about God?
To pray to God?
To visit with others?
To learn about God?
The number one reason we go to church is to worship our God.
Most of us do not know what that even means. I will say we Catholics know how to worship, but do we know why and what worship is.
Worship is a physical action, a mental action, and a spiritual action. We worship God with our bodies, our minds, and our spirits. Worship is putting God first.
Jesus said … “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth; and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him. God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and truth.” John 4:23-24
David told the whole assembly, “Now bless the Lord your God!” And the whole assembly blessed the Lord, the God of their ancestors, bowing down in homage before the Lord and before the king.
Jesus said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind…”
What Does it Mean to Worship God?
Worship is an outward expression that gives glory and honor to God. Worship and praise magnifies the Lord. Praise is an intentional spoken or visible, physical act. We can’t just think God is good; we have to say it. Lately, at our church, the Priest says after Mass, “Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.” It’s a command that requires us to interact and actually speak. We can’t just go and meditate on it or pray for others, we need to tell someone about God.
In the following Psalm 145, we are encouraged to BLESS His name, EXTOL our God and King, and to praise him from one generation to the next, PROCLAIMING his mighty works. We are told to TELL of his wondrous deeds, to SPEAK of the splendor of His majesty, to RECOUNT his great deeds, to CELEBRATE his goodness and SING of his justice and mercy.
It’s not a quiet thing. We have to know God so well and experience his great acts of glory so that we have something to tell and pass on.
I will extol you, my God and King;
I will bless your name forever and ever.
2 Every day I will bless you;
I will praise your name forever and ever.
3 Great is the Lord and worthy of much praise,
whose grandeur is beyond understanding.
4 One generation praises your deeds to the next
and proclaims your mighty works.
5 They speak of the splendor of your majestic glory,
tell of your wonderful deeds.
6 They speak of the power of your awesome acts
and recount your great deeds.
7 They celebrate your abounding goodness
and joyfully sing of your justice. Psalm 145
Praise does not come naturally to us; complaining comes naturally as well as criticizing. We don’t have to teach ourselves or encourage ourselves to complain and wine. But praise must be intentional, and we must be purposeful. When we come to realize all God has done for us, we can’t help but praise Him.
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Why Does God Want us to Praise Him?
The Bible commands us to praise the Lord over and over again. Why? Why does God want us to praise him? Does he need it? Does it give him a thrill or make him feel good about himself? Does God have an ego? Why do we praise God, and why does God tell us to praise Him in the Bible?
Why? Because we need it, praise is for us primarily.
When we praise God, something supernatural happens.
Ask the people of Jericho who watched as the entire wall surrounding the city fell when the people began to shout (See Joshua chapter 6). Ask the people of Israel what happened to the enemy troops advancing against them when they began to sing songs of praise. “The Lord threw the invading armies into a panic and ambushed them.” (2 Chronicles 20:22).
Praise brings us into a new world, a new realm, the spiritual realm.
When we magnify God, our troubles begin to pale in comparison. When we talk about how great God is, we start to believe it. God wants us to hear ourselves praising Him because our words are powerful. Our words change our minds, our moods, and our attitudes. God wants others to listen to us praising him as well because He wants others to know just how awesome He is. He wants us to remember this in times of trouble so we will know where to go and to whom.
Praise is telling God how great he is. For instance. The Bible says that God is our “Ever present help in time of need” (Psalm 46:2 or verse 1 in Protestant bibles). The Bible describes God as all knowing, all powerful, our healer and defender. God doesn’t tell us he is all powerful just to brag; he tells us he is all powerful so we will trust him to fight for us. He tells us he is our defender, so we know the battle belongs to him. He tells us he heals not to impress us, but so that we will trust him to heal us.
God tells us how great and mighty He is for our sake. God wants to hear those words coming out of our mouths because He knows that faith comes from hearing. Eventually, we will start believing what we are saying. God tells us He is our ever-present help in our time of need because He is. He means it. He doesn’t want us to doubt his love and ability and willingness to help us; He wants us to count on it.
Praise is a powerful weapon against the enemy.
The devil hates to hear praise and worship coming out of your mouth. He is powerless against it. Praise defeats the ENEMY. What is your enemy? What do you fear, worry about, or dread? What do you fail consistently? What are you addicted to? Instead of complaining about it, start praising God, so you will know God is victorious. The enemy will hear you and learn that he has no chance against you.
Why do we praise God?
Praise Honors God and we, his people want to honor him. When we praise God, we are letting God himself know, and everyone on earth and under the earth know who we believe in and honor as our Lord. We praise God because He is worthy of all honor and glory and praise. “Great is the Lord and worthy of much praise, whose grandeur is beyond understanding.” (Psalm 145:3)
When we declare God as King of heaven and earth, we are not only obeying the scripture that tells us to, but we are announcing ourselves as his children at the same time. When we declare him King, we are maintaining that we are part of that kingdom. It is ours through our declaration. We don’t sign a document or join a church to become a member of God’s kingdom. We are born into it through the saving power of the blood of Jesus through our very own words. Those words aren’t just accidental or unintentional words but words that demonstrate or reflect what is in our hearts.
We praise him because, as the scriptures say…
Psalm 50:23 Those who offer praise as a sacrifice honor me.
Hebrews 13:15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise, the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.
Psalm 138:2 I praise your name for your mercy and faithfulness.
Psalm 145:9 The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in mercy. The Lord is good to all, compassionate toward all your works.
Psalm 145:16 The Lord satisfies the desire of every living thing.
Psalm 145:17 The Lord is just in all his ways,
Psalm 145:17 The Lord is merciful in all his works.
Psalm 145:18 The Lord is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth.
Psalm 145:19 The Lord fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
Psalm 145:19 The Lord hears their cry and saves them.
Psalm 145:20 The Lord watches over all who love him,
"Take Control of Your Mind and Close the Door to those Negative, Depressing, Fearful, Worrisome Thoughts Forever."
Do you struggle with thoughts of shame or guilt, feeling burdened, lost, and overwhelmed? Maybe you believe you are stuck in a pit and can’t get out, and even worse you believe you deserve to be there.
I understand, because I was once there too! I wrote my book “Your Thoughts are Killing You” in order to share this message—God wants the best for you, and He has the means to get you there!
How Do We Praise God?
The Holy Spirit shows us how to praise. Praise is fruit of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Praise is a commitment, something we do on purpose. We praise God with our words, our instruments, our actions, our posture, our countenance and with our love.
The Psalms teach us how to praise God…
Shout joyful praises to God, all the earth!
Sing about the glory of his name!
Tell the world how glorious he is.
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
they will sing your praises,
shouting your name in glorious songs.”
Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD;
let us shout aloud to the rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.
Sing to the Lord,
bless his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples, his marvelous deeds.
I bow low toward your holy temple;
Let them praise His name with dancing;
Let them sing praises to Him with timbrel, and lyre.
Come, everyone! Clap your hands!
Shout to God with joyful praise!
Let my prayer be incense before you;
my uplifted hands an evening offering.
2 Chronicles 20:18
Then King Jehoshaphat bowed low, with his face touching the ground, and all the
people bowed with him and worshiped the Lord.
Give praise with blasts upon the horn,
praise him with harp and lyre.
Give praise with tambourines and dance,
praise him with strings and pipes.
Give praise with crashing cymbals,
praise him with sounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath
give praise to the Lord! Hallelujah!
Now let’s practice using a Psalm or other Bible verse to praise God. For example, take this verse. Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress.” Praise God now, using this small passage of scripture. Say out loud, “Father, you are my ever-present help in time of need.” You are praising God with his word.
Both Praise and the Word of God are powerful weapons against evil forces. The Bible describes the word of God as the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT in Ephesians 6:16-17 “In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all [the] flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Let the word of God come out of your mouth in the form of praise as often as you can or are willing.
Are you moody? Begin praising God.
Are you nervous? Begin praising God and see the enemy flee. The Bible says “So submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7)
Are you depressed? Begin to praise God and watch the atmosphere change.
Are you frustrated or angry? Begin praising God and watch God change your heart.
When our words fail us, praise God in tongues. Let the Holy Spirit praise God through you.
“In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. 27 And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because it intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will” (Romans 8:26).
We can’t do God justice. Our words will always fail us. We are inadequate when it comes to finding words to describe or honor God.
When Do We Praise God?
Always and forever.
When it feels good and when it doesn’t.
When we feel like it and when we don’t.
In good times and in bad.
Morning, noon and night.