Last week we introduced the idea that there are different types of prayer and we can find our strengths in prayer. Prayer isn’t supposed to be the hard work; the hard work was already done by Christ to make us approved and accepted by God.
You’re going to lean toward different types of prayer—your sweet spot in prayer. The point is to discover your sweet spot so it can lead you into a deep and satisfying relationship with your Heavenly Father.
In order to help you find your prayer strengths, we’re going to unpack 12 prayer types, one-by-one.
This week’s focus is Praise.
Psalm 150:6 says, “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.”
Basics of Praise
Praise is declaring the truth about who God is, what he has done, or what he has promised to do. To praise is to make known the wonderful name of the LORD and parade his deeds with unmatched fanfare.
In a world that thinks every way leads to Heaven, every god is equal, and good works lead to salvation, praise sets apart the Almighty God. Because of how vast and awesome God is, you will never run out of praises.
When you declare who God is, you affirm his identity. As you do, your countenance will rise and you will be reminded of the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, and the Spirit of Truth. Your situation may be bleak but praising God will call your soul to attention.
When you declare what God has done, you affirm his deeds. God is at work more than you know. What you need is not for God to do more, but for you to see more of what He has already done. Praise helps you do that.
When you declare what God has promised to do, you affirm his promises. God is looking for people who will stand on his promises regardless of what they do not see. This is living by faith, not by sight. When you trust God, it gives him glory.
A biblical character who praised was Simon Peter. When Jesus asked his disciples who they thought he was, they were silent. But Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Matthew 16.16). This was praise.
Benefits of Praise
Great things happen when you praise the Father, praise the Son, and praise the Holy Spirit. Here are a few of them:
Praise changes the spiritual climate.
When you’re in a bad mood, begin praising God. You’ll be amazed at how the atmosphere changes. When Paul and Silas were in prison, they praised God and an earthquake freed them (Acts 16.25). A downer turned into deliverance.
Praise fulfills your primary purpose as a created being.
After Jesus performed miracles, the crowd began praising God. The Pharisees wanted to rebuke them, but Jesus said, “If these [people] become silent, the stones will cry out!” (Luke 19.40) It is primal for creation to praise the Creator. If you don’t, you’ll worship something else.
Praise empowers you to great deeds.
After the Apostle Peter named Jesus as the Son of God, Peter moved in astonishing power (Matthew 16.16). His great exploits began after his declaration of praise. Praise empowers you to do the same things Peter did.
Praise becomes a testimony for others.
The root of the word for testimony is “to do again.” When you share with others who God is, what God has done, or what he has promised, it becomes a testimony. Your testimony spurs faith in others when they need some.
Praise restores your understanding to the right order.
When things go wrong, they take control. The broken water softener gets the upper hand. The prodigal son becomes your obsession. But in reality, God is still on the throne. Praise puts things in the right perspective.
Praise reminds you of God’s presence in your life.
In Psalm 22.1, David wrote, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Had God really forsaken David? No, but that’s how David felt. If you’re walking with God, He won’t forsake you. Praise reminds you that God is near.
Praise crucifies your pride.
We tend to think of ourselves more highly than we ought. But praise humbles us. Hebrews 13.15 calls it a “sacrifice of praise.” Sacrifice always costs us. The Apostle Paul said he died daily (1 Cor. 15.31). Praise helps you die daily so God is raised.
Praise attracts God’s presence.
When King Solomon dedicated the Temple to God, he offered sacrifices and praised God. God answered by sending fire from heaven. Then his Glory came (2 Chronicles 7). Praise attracts God’s presence. He is drawn to where He is welcomed.
Questions on Praise
What is the definition of praise?
When have you praised God in good times? Difficult times?
Was there a difference in how you praised God in each of those times?
Which three character traits of God stand out to you? How did you learn them?
How has praising God impacted you?
Do you feel drawn to this prayer type?