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Let Us Praise!
Posted October 23, 2015
O come, let us... Psalm 95:1
To Read: Psalm 95
Praising God is a big part of the Christian life, but how do we go about it? The psalmist shows us some ways in Psalm 95. Notice all of the things that is mentioned in this passage that it says to "let us" do which all revolves around praising and worshipping God.
Let's Praise with Singing.
O come, let us sing unto the LORD... Psalm 95:1
It doesn't matter whether you think you can carry a tune or not, everyone can sing to the Lord. When someone breaks out into song it is usually because they are happy about something or they feel deeply about something. Ever see someone in love and they go around singing all the time? They can't help themselves.
Are you happy in your walk with the Lord? Does your heart spill out into song to the Lord?
Let's Praise with Joyful Noises.
...let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Psalm 95:1
Notice verse 1 says, "joyful noises". Grumbles and mumbles are not part of praising God. Complaints and gripes are not "joyful noises". I'm not sure about you but sometimes I have to ask myself if I am making more negative noises than shouts of joy.
Let's Praise with Thanks.
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving... Psalm 95:2
Verse 2 of this psalm tells us how to come before the Lord. The first way he mentions in this verse is with "thanksgiving". The Lord does so much for us. It should be easy for us to be thankful but sometimes we are not. Coming before the Lord with an ungrateful heart can put a real damper on our praise to God.
Having trouble with this? Make some thankful lists. That always helps me. You could also start a thanks journal. You will be amazed at how many blessings you truly have in your life once you start recording them.
Let's Praise with Psalms.
...and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. Psalm 95:2
If we look further into verse 2, we see another way to praise the Lord. We have already seen that it says to come before the Lord with "thanksgiving" but look what else it says. There is a preposition there. "...and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms."
Psalms are basically verses and words to praise God. Don't panic. It doesn't say you have to write your own psalms. However, you could try reading through the book of Psalms in the Bible to focus your praise to God.
Try reading some of those psalms out loud when you have your quiet time with the Lord. The book of Psalms is filled with beautiful words and wonderful passages to glorify God. It won't be hard to do the "joyful" part when you start reading about what a wonderful God we have and what wonderful things He has done.
If you want to write your own psalms, just tell God what you think of Him and how you feel about Him. Concentrate on all the wonderful things God has done. Focus on how powerful and marvelous He is. That is all David did as he wrote psalms to the Lord.
If you start looking through the ones David wrote, you will notice that he wrote some when he was having those mountain top experiences and some when he was going through some very low valleys in his life. We have got to voice our praise to God at the high and low times.
Let's Praise with Worship.
O come, let us worship... Psalm 95:6
Worship is expressing praise and honor to God. It is part of how we reverence God. It is not just with our words, but we worship by how we act and how we live.
Worship is mentioned numerous times in the Bible and I have been reading through a lot of them. It is something that has blessed my blesser if you know what I mean.
One thing I found is that the people in the Bible worshipped God in all kinds of ways and places. They worshipped at the gates, on the housetops, on the mountains. Everywhere. They also worshipped by bowing, by kneeling, by falling on their faces.
When Jacob is mentioned among those heroes of faith in Hebrews 11, it says he "...worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff".
When Solomon was dedicating the temple and the fire came down from heaven and burnt up the offerings the people worshipped by bowing (2 Chronicles 7:3). I thought it was interesting that they bowed their faces on "the pavement". Not just the ground but the pavement. That's not padded pews or kneeling our knees on soft carpet. It shows me they were serious about their worship.
Let's Praise with Bowing.
...and bow down... Psalm 95:6
I just mentioned "bowing" relating to worship and that is the next thing verse 6 of this Psalm mentions. It says not only to "worship" but "worship and bow down". When we physically bow such as in prayer it helps us focus. It helps block out the distractions. It settles us and helps us concentrate on connecting with the Lord.
It is so easy to be distracted especially when prayer is a part of our worship as a group in a church setting. We can lose our focus by voices, people milling about, or things going on in the next pew.
Not only does bowing help with those distractions but it is also a sign of respect. When we respect the Lord, we are honoring Who He is.
Another thing bowing entails is yielding. When we bow to God it is an acknowledgement that we are yielding to Him. Yielding is such a big part of worship and praising the Lord. Of course we shouldn't be concerned with just bowing physcially but by yielding to the Lord in whatever situation comes into our lives.
I've found that praising and worshipping God means a lot of different things to different people. We all vary in how we express our worship but no matter we go about it, we need to just do it.
I think this psalm gives us a place to start. It gives us some specific things we can do to praise the Lord. For me it is a help. I have times when I want to worship, when I want to spend time glorifying and praising God because He does so much for me. When it comes right down to it though, I have trouble with it, so Psalm 95 has really been an encouragement to me.
Besides all of those "let us" phrases in this Psalm of things we can do, it goes further and talks about all those reasons why we should be praising God.
Look at those things.
He is a great God. (verse 3)
This reminds me how much God blesses me.
He is a great King. (verse 3)
This reminds me that God reached down and included me in His royal family.
He holds the deep places. (verse 4)
This reminds me that He knows everything about me.
He owns the strength of the hills. (verse 4)
This reminds me that I can depend on His strength.
He owns the sea and He made it. (verse 5)
This reminds me that He controls that vast sea and everything else.
He formed the earth. (verse 5)
This reminds me that He is my Creator.
He is our God. (verse 7)
This reminds me that God is mine and I am His.
When I start thinking about all these things to praise God about, it excites me. We can't ever say there isn't anything to praise God about.
There are two more things that I want to share with you that I noticed while studying this passage. If we look in verse 7 there is a phrase that stuck out to me in the midst of reading all about praising and worshipping God. Look at the last part of verse 7.
It says, "...if ye will hear His voice."
What a reminder that I need to listen to this great and mighty God of mine. This is the God who blesses me, who made me, who sacrificed His Son for me. If I am going to praise Him, I am going to have to start hearing Him. This shows me that real praise requires I read, study, and listen to the Word of God and what it has for me. It is a way I can make praising and worshipping God more meaningful.
Another thing I noticed is in verse 8 as the psalmist continues on, He says, "Harden not your heart..."
It is so important that I not allow my heart to harden. I have to be open and willing to allow the leading of the Holy Spirit. It's part of that yielding that I mentioned earlier.
If you read on through the rest of that psalm you will notice the consequences of hardening your heart. It is referring to all those Israelites that were in the wilderness. I guess we all know how that turned out. Tender hearts are required to push our praise and worship further.
I probably have read this psalm dozens of time in my life but until recently I think I really never grasped it fully. Pouring over the things in this psalm has helped me be a little more focused where worship and praising God is concerned. I hope it will encourage and help you as well.
So, how do you praise the Lord?
Copyright ©2015 Julia Bettencourt
Scripture References are from the King James Version.
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