What is praise?
12 good reasons to praise:
1 Praise is an expression of joy, trust and the love of God. It opens the heart and ‘refreshes’ souls.
2 Praise is a prayer in which one marvels at the qualities of God and where we sing of them. It is one of the finest expressions of the love of the creature for his Creator.
3 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. Saint Paul also says that it 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.’ (1 Thessalonians 5:16).
4 Praise resonates continually between the Father, the Son and the Spirit – this will be our delight for eternity. Our praise here below is also an expression of our vocation. As St. Augustine said, ‘our happiness in eternity will be to praise God. No person can be suited for this future unless they practice it now. That is why from today we will praise God’.(1
5 Praise is the reflection of God’s Spirit. He inspired the Psalms, wonderful hymns of praise. Also Mary’s Magnificat, which supports the exultation of Jesus (Lk 10:21) and provokes the thanksgiving of the apostles on the day of Pentecost. If praise appears so powerfully in the Charismatic Renewal, it is because it is the work of the Spirit who wants to create ‘a people of praise’ to the glory of the Father.
6 Praise allows us to better express what the heart contains, under the action of the Holy Spirit. We can also express it by gestures, by raising our hands.
7 Praise allows spontaneous prayer. This is a murmur which travels around the assembly, each person blessing the Lord in a low voice. Surprised at the beginning at seeing ‘everybody talking at the same time’, we are soon touched by the amplitude, power and unity that emerges from this collective praise.
8 The first fruit of praise is to make fraternal charity grow. Praise, while expressing our love for God, strengthens fraternal bonds between us. It establishes communion by our common admiration.
9 Praise is also the source of many charisms, because it invites the presence of the Holy Spirit. Praise attracts God because it is a testimony of the openness of our hearts, our love and our availability.
10 Praise evangelizes: On the morning of Pentecost, it is praise that attracted the interest of the crowd gathered around the Upper Room. ‘… 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 others.
11 Praise heals: ‘but 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).
12 Praise sets free: In their prison at midnight the thanksgiving of Paul and Silas (Acts 16:25-28) freed them and brought deliverance to those who heard them. All the prisoners’ chains fell down. Praise allows God to perform such cures even in those who only listen.
Dominique de Chantérac, No. 191 of ‘Il est Vivant!’
(1) Commentary on Psalm 148