Praise is an expression of our joy, trust and love for God. It opens our hearts and uplifts our souls.
Praise is a prayer in which we marvel at the qualities of God and we sing about them. It is one of the finest expressions of love by the creature for its Creator.
Praise follows from the first commandment: ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind’ (Lk 10: 27). To know God is to love Him and to love Him is to praise Him. Also, Saint Paul says that this is a commandment: ‘Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.’ (1Thess 5: 16-18).
Praise continuously reverberates between the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. This praise will delight us for all eternity. Our praise in this world is also the expression of our vocation. As St. Augustine said, ‘Our happiness in eternity will be to praise God. No person is suitable for this future if they do not do it now. That is why from now on we praise God.’
Praise reflects God’s Spirit who inspires the Psalms which are wonderful hymns of praise. Also, Mary’s Magnificat, which sustains our exultation in Jesus (Lk 10: 21) and which caused the apostles to offer thanksgiving on the day of Pentecost. If praise appears so strongly in the Charismatic Renewal, it is because it is the work of the Holy Spirit who wants to create ‘a people of praise’ to the glory of the Father.
Praise enables us to better express what is in our hearts, under the action of the Holy Spirit. We can also express this through our gestures. By raising our hands we give thanks to Him for what He has done in our lives. We praise Him with our whole life.
Praise leads to spontaneous prayer – a murmur that runs through the assembly, each person blessing the Lord in a low voice. We may be initially surprised to hear ‘everyone talking at the same time’, but we are soon touched by the volume, power and unity that comes from this collective praise.
The first fruit of praise is that of growth in fraternal charity. Praise, by expressing our love for God, strengthens the fraternal bond between us. It establishes communion between people.
Praise gives rise to many charisms because it invokes the presence of the Holy Spirit. Praise attracts God because it is a testimony of openness of our hearts, our love and of our availability.
Praise also evangelizes. On the morning of Pentecost, it was praise that attracted the attention of the crowd gathered around the Cenacle. ‘… in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power’ (Acts 2:11). Many prayer groups have experienced this – praise touches hearts and attracts them.
God heals and liberates us through praise ‘I will heal them; I will lead them and repay them with comfort, creating for their mourners the fruit of the lips’ (Is 57:18).
In their prison at midnight the thanksgiving of Paul and Silas (Acts 16: 25-28) released and brought deliverance to those who heard them, whilst all the prisoners’ chains fell down. Praise allows God to bring about similar cures among those who merely listen.
Source: article by Dominique de Chantérac in No. 191 of ‘Il est vivant!’
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