SEVEN REASONS TO PRAISE THE LORD

BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO

The command or call to “Praise the Lord” appears in the Old and New Testaments several times. The psalmists use it most and the Psalms tell us the reasons to praise the Lord. The phrase is used only once in the New Testament in the New King James Version. “And again: ‘Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples!’” (Romans 15:11 NKJV). This is quoted from Psalm 117:1: “Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples!” (NKJV).

There is hardly any Christian gathering where we don’t shout, “Praise the Lord.” It is not a slogan. “Praise the Lord” is the English translation of the Hebrew phrase, “Hallelujah.” In some Bible translations, Hallelujah is used at the beginning of some psalms but in other translations, including the New King James Version, the phrase “Praise the LORD!” is used instead. However, in the New Testament, “Hallelujah” or “Alleluia” is used four times (Revelation 19:1, 3, 4, 6).

Hallelujah is a combination of two Hebrew words “Hallel” and “Jah.” Hallel means praise. “Jah” is the shortened form of the Hebrew name of the LORD, YHWH, pronounced Yahweh (Jehovah in English which is derived from the Latin Iehovah). Thus, Hallelujah means “Praise the LORD” or “Praise ye the LORD.” Psalm 103:22 says, “Praise the Lord, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the Lord, my soul” (NIV).

Although the phrase “Praise the Lord” or “Hallelujah” has now become a form of praise among Christians, we should not only shout this phrase but also know what we should praise the Lord for and praise Him indeed. Praising the Lord means appreciating Him for who He is and what He has done. It means appreciating His attributes and acts. The Bible tells us reasons to praise the Lord. These reasons help us to know how to praise praise Him. We must, in addition to saying, “Praise the Lord” or “Hallelujah”, praise Him by saying words of admiration to Him and singing songs of praise to Him, with or without musical instruments.

In the Bible, singing is a major way of praising the Lord. The writer of Psalm 33 says, “Praise the Lord with the harp; make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings. Sing to Him a new song; play skillfully with a shout of joy” (verses 2-3 NKJV). Also in Psalm 149:1, the psalmist says, “Praise the LORD. Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of his faithful people” (NIV). You can praise the Lord by singing and praising Him, with or without a musical instrument.

Another way of praising the Lord is to lift your hands to Him. “Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord who minister by night in the house of the Lord. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord” (Psalm 134:1-2 NIV). Dancing can also be added to singing to praise the Lord. Psalm 149:3 says, “Let them praise His name with the dance; Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp” (NKJV). Also, Psalm 150:3-5 says, “Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals” (NIV).  Furthermore, you can bow down, kneel, prostrate, or stand before the Lord to praise Him.

Here are seven reasons the Bible says we should praise the Lord:

1. Praise the Lord, for He is good and His mercy endures forever. Some scriptures say that we should praise the Lord, for He is good while others say we should praise Him for His mercy endures forever.

Psalm 135:3 says, “Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; Sing praises to His name, for it is pleasant” (NKJV). As I have said, singing is one major way of praising the Lord. Therefore, sing praises to His name, as this Psalm says.

The Bible tells us repeatedly that the Lord is good. “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” (Psalm 34:8 New King James Version). According to Nahum 1:7, “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him” (NKJV). The Bible also says the Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him (Lamentation 3:25). Praise Him for His goodness. “Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” (Psalm 107:31 NKJV). Praise the Lord, for He is good.

The Bible also says we should praise the Lord for His mercy endures forever. 2 Chronicles 20 talks about how King Jehoshaphat of Judah appointed those who would praise the LORD, for His mercy endures forever: “And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the LORD, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: ‘Praise the LORD, for His mercy endures forever’” (verse 21 NKJV).

The phrase “His mercy endures forever” appears forty-one times in the Old Testament in the New King James Version, including twenty-six times in Psalm 136, which has twenty-six verses.

The Bible says many times that the Lord is good and His mercy endures forever (1 Chronicles 16:34; 2 Chronicles 5:13; 7:3; Ezra 3:11; Psalms 106:1; 107:1; 118:1, 29; 136:1-26). According to David, “The LORD is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works” (Psalm 145:9 New King James Version). Therefore, praise the Lord for He is good and His mercy endures forever, as Psalm 106:1 says: “Praise the LORD! Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever” (NKJV)

In Jeremiah 33:11, the Bible refers to the voice of those who will say, “Praise the Lord of hosts, for the Lord is good, for His mercy endures forever” (NKJV). Because the Lord is good and His mercy endures forever, you should praise Him. 2 Chronicles 7:6b says the Levites had instruments of the music of the LORD, which King David had made to praise the LORD, saying, “For His mercy endures forever,” whenever David offered praise by their ministry. Psalm 100:5 says, “For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations” (NKJV). Praise the Lord, for He is good and His mercy endures forever.

2. Praise the Lord for being alive. Psalm 150:6 says, “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!” (NKJV). You are one of those this scripture is referring to. You have breath or you’re breathing. Therefore, you should praise the Lord.

Some people take being alive for granted. But without being alive, nobody can enjoy anything he has. And only those alive can pursue their goals. When someone is alive, there is still hope for him. Ecclesiastes 9:4 puts it this way: “Anyone who is among the living has hope-even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!” (NIV).

Praise the Lord for being alive. Psalm 146:2 says, “While I live I will praise the LORD; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being” (NKJV). Praise the Lord for being alive. Psalm 115:17 says dead people do not praise the Lord; those in the grave are silent. Only those who are alive can praise the Lord.

3. Praise the Lord, for it is good to sing praises to Him. This is another reason to praise the Lord. We should praise the Lord not only because He is good but also because it is good to do so. Psalm 147:1 says, “Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful” (New King James Version). In the Amplified Bible, this verse says we should praise the Lord, “For it is good to sing praises to our [gracious and majestic] God; praise is becoming appropriateIt is good to sing praises to Him. Praise the Lord!

4. Praise the Lord, for His merciful kindness and His truth that endures forever. Psalm 117:1-2 says, “Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples! For His merciful kindness is great toward us, and the truth of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD!” (NKJV). Note that the phrase “Praise the Lord” is used two times in this passage. The New International Version puts the verse thus: “Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord.” 

In other words, the LORD’s merciful kindness and truth also mean His love and faithfulness. The Amplified Bible uses “lovingkindness” instead of merciful kindness. Praise the Lord for His merciful kindness and truth that endures forever.

5. Praise the Lord for His mighty acts and surpassing greatness. The Bible says this in Psalm 150:2: “Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness” (NIV). The mighty acts of God and His surpassing greatness are seen in the works of creation. Psalm 148:5 says, “Let every created thing give praise to the Lord, for he issued his command, and they came into being” (NLT).

The mighty acts and surpassing greatness are also evident in the signs and wonders or miracles in our lives and the lives of our loved ones and others. We should praise Him for all this. Praise Him for His miraculous provisions, deliverance, and various interventions. Psalm 107:6 says they (the Israelites) cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses. Praise Him for dealing wondrously with you (Joel 2:26).

Jeremiah 20:13 says, “Sing to the LORD! Praise the LORD! For He has delivered the life of the poor from the hand of evildoers” (NKJV). What a mighty God He is! Psalm 113:9 says, “He grants the barren woman a home, like a joyful mother of children. Praise the LORD!” (NKJV). Only the Lord can do this. We should praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted; His splendour is above the earth and the heavens (Psalm 148:13).

6. Praise the Lord for all His benefits or kind deeds. David says in Psalm 103:2-5, “Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (NIV). The phrase “forget not all his benefits” means, among others, never forget all the good He has done, do not forget how kind He is, and do not forget all His gifts. These benefits are many. If you can think and remember all the good the Lord has done for you, you will praise Him. Praise the Lord!

7. Praise the Lord for His righteous judgments. Psalm 119:62 says, “At midnight I rise to praise you, because of your righteous rules” (ESV). The phrase “righteous rules” means righteous judgments. But the psalmist also says in Psalm 119:164, “Seven times a day I praise You, because of Your righteous judgments” (NKJV). The phrase “seven times” probably refers to often, many times, or frequently. Also, the phrase, “righteous judgments”, of the LORD refers to His righteous rules or ordinances, just regulations, or fair laws.  The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether (Psalm 19:9b). The Lord is righteous (Exodus 9:27; 2 Chronicles 12:6; Psalms 11:7; 129:4; 145:17; Lamentations 1:18; Zephaniah 3:5). Therefore, His judgments are righteous. Praise Him.

Don’t praise the Lord only once in seven days, but seven times in a day! In other words, praise the Lord many times or frequently in a day for His righteous judgments, as the psalmist did.

Conclusion: Shout “Praise the Lord!” or “Hallelujah.” But also praise the Lord for His attributes and acts. He is worthy to be praised. Say words of praise to Him. Sing and dance to praise Him. David said he would praise the LORD according to His righteousness and sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High (Psalm 7:17). Do the same. Praise the Lord privately and publicly. The writer of Psalm 111 says, “Praise the LORD! I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright and in the congregation” (verse 1 NKJV). Praise the Lord!

Cultivate the habit of praising the Lord. Praise the Lord always. Praise Him all the days of your life. He is worthy of your praise.

TAKE ACTION!

If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.

Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.

T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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