Last week I gave some thoughts on worship. Well, what about praise.
There are many words for praise in Hebrew. But they all come from one root word. Yadah, which means to declare to confess. All of the words for praise are built on this Hebrew word, yadah. Interestingly this word is related to the word yad which means hand. In other words it is Biblically appropriate to raise your hands during a time of praise bc when you lift up your hands while praying or singing you are declaring or confessing God as God. One lifts up ones hands in Covenant loyalty – affirming allegiance to God. By raising the hand or hands you are publicly declaring “You are God. I am in Covenant relationship with You, I no longer am my own. Now I belong to You fully and completely, I am Yours.”
Praise occurs when you are declaring or confessing who and what God is, what God has done, what God is doing or is going to do. Praise can even occur when you simply declare – He is God. This can happen again during a Sunday morning service while singing, at work when you declare to your fellow co-workers I’m different bc He is God and I’m not. At school, at home, or even when you’re by yourself and you declare with the heavens the glory of God.
Worship is a response to God, His attributes, His actions, His word. Praise is declaring and confessing something about God, who He is or what He has done. Both can occur in community setting or individually, on a Sunday morning or while sitting at your desk at work, while washing dishes or changing a diaper. We are to live lives of praise and worship to God. My actions, emotions, and thoughts are not only to be responding to God but also declaring to the world that He is God. Remember – it takes all of me 🙂