The dictionary defines praise as the act of expressing approval and admiration. Living a life of praise is important because it takes the focus off of ourselves and puts it on God.
Praise should be an essential part of a believer's life. When you praise that's when the presence of God shows up.
Scripture makes it clear that God inhabits the praises of his people. It's found in Psalm 22:3 which says,
But you are holy, O you (God) that inhabits the praises of Israel.
The word inhabits in the Strong's Concordance means to abide, dwell, to remain or stay. We can see it's evident that once we start praising God, he comes and dwells in the midst of our praise.
One example of God's presence showing up when believers were in need is the story of Paul and Silas. If you don't know the story, here's a quick rundown on their situation.
While in Philippi Paul and Silas cast an unclean spirit out of a woman, which made her masters angry. They saw that their "hopes of gain were gone." (What that means is, they used this woman to make money.)
The result of Paul and Silas' setting this woman free was to be brought before the rulers of the city and falsely accused of being troublemakers. They were consequently, beaten and cast into jail.
Paul and Silas were definitely in need of God's presence to show up and deliver them from their unjust imprisonment. The story continues in Acts 16:25-26 that says,
And at midnight, Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's bands were loosed.
Even though Paul and Silas were no doubt in pain from their beating, they still found the strength to praise and worship God. Not only were their bonds loosed but the bonds of everyone around them. The jailer even accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior.
What believers need to realize is their situation may be different than Paul and Silas', but God will show up to meet your needs. Believers can't allow their situation to stop them from offering praise to God.
We need to keep the praise of God flowing from our hearts. It's a powerful weapon against attitudes and most especially our spiritual enemies. If you are in pain or hurting, lift up your voice and sing praises to God. It's not that you are denying the pain; it's that you chose to acknowledge no matter what God is still in control.
By offering up praise to God you are changing your perspective about your situation. Look back and remember the story of Paul and Silas, have you ever been in that kind of situation? Probably not, but yet they sang praises to God and gained their freedom.
Maybe you need a little more convincing about the power of praise, okay, let's look at Judah for this example found in 2 Chronicles 20. During King Jehoshaphat's reign, there were certain enemies that came seeking to destroy Judah.
The King proclaimed a fast and all the people, even the children, sought God's mercy in their situation. They pleaded with God and said, "we have no might against this great company that comes against us; we don't know what to do: however, our eyes are upon you."
Their situation was dire, and they faced being wiped from off the face of the map, but yet they took the time to seek God's face. They heard from God and this is what he said,
You will not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, you stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.
When Judah went out to the battle, the Levite priests stood up and sang praises unto God. When they lifted their voices glorifying God, their enemies turned upon each other and slew one another.
The result of praise brought Judah victory, and many spoils of war. How can your situation be more dire than either Paul and Silas' or Judah's? Now do you see the importance of living a life of praise? You can't allow anything to stand in your way of praising God? Maybe you can't think of a reason to give him praise, well here are some things to help you with that.
Give God praise for the following:
Praise him for his faithfulness. Know, therefore, that the Lord your God, he is God, the faithful God, which keeps covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations. (Deuteronomy 7:9)
Praise him for his forgiveness. For you, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive; plenteous in mercy unto all of them that call upon you. (Psalm 86:5)
Praise him for his love. But God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
Praise him for his protective power. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makes me dwell in safety. (Psalm 4:8)
That should be enough to get you started in your praising God for his goodness. In closing, we must remember to have an attitude of gratitude. It's very important to maintain a life that involves praise to God. It's one of your keys to spiritual victory.
NOTE-This article was written concerning our private praise life and not our corporate one. Just like prayer, praise has an important role in a Christian's life.