PRAISE

The biblical definition of Praise:
Psalm 150:1 Praise the LORD. Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him  in His mighty heavens. v2 Praise Him for His acts of power; praise Him for His surpassing greatness. v3 Praise Him with the sounding of  the trumpet, praise Him with the harp and lyre, v4 praise Him with timbrel and dancing, praise Him with the strings and pipe, v5  praise Him with the clash of cymbals, praise Him with resounding cymbals. v6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.

Character Study;
Mary – Mother of Jesus: Luke 1:26-56. Her story is told throughout the Gospels and she is also mentioned in Acts 1:14

Mary, a virgin, lived in Nazareth, a village in Galilee. She was engaged to Joseph, a descendant of King David. After being told by the angel Gabriel that she would conceive and give birth to a son, whom she is to call Jesus, she responded that she was the Lord’s servant. Luke 1:38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
A few days later she goes and visits Elizabeth who says to her: v45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfil His promises to her!  Mary responds with “Mary’s Song of Praise” also called “The Magnificat” Luke 1:46-55
Mary was the mother of Jesus and the only human being who was with Him from birth to death.

Mary is known for her:
Humility
Luke 1:26-38  She did not argue with the angel, Gabriel, but accepted what he told her.
Faith
She did not doubt that what the angel had said would happen.
John 2:1-12 At Jesus’ first miracle – turning water into wine, she showed faith that He could do it.
Knowing the Scriptures
Luke 1:46-55 Mary’s Song of Praise is a song of joy and shows us how well she knew God. The song is filled with allusions to the Old Testament, which includes the Law, the Psalms and the Prophets.
Being a Good Mother
Luke 2:21-24 When Jesus was 8 days old; she took Him to the Temple to be dedicated.
Luke 2:42-51 She was concerned when at the age of 12 she could not find Jesus on their way back from Jerusalem. They went back to Jerusalem and found Him 3 days later in the Temple.
John 19:25 She was there when Jesus was crucified.
Acts 1:14 The last time we read about Mary.

What the Bible teaches about praise.
Old Testament:
After the people of Israel had escaped through the Red Sea and had seen the mighty power that the LORD had unleashed against the Egyptians, they were filled with awe before Him.
In Exodus 15:1-21 Moses and the Israelites sang a song of praise and deliverance to the LORD for leading them out of Egypt.
In v20-21 Miriam and the women joined him with tambourines and dancing.
In both 2 Samuel 22:1-51 and Psalm 18:1-50 David sang a song of praise to the LORD when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.
1 Chronicles 16:7-36 After the Ark of the Covenant was brought back to Jerusalem, David wrote a song of praise.
2 Chronicles 5:1-14 We read the account of King Solomon dedicating the Temple and bringing the Ark back to the Temple.
2 Chronicles 6:1-11 Solomon praises the LORD.
Psalm 117 This Psalm is the shortest chapter in the Bible. It shows that God loves “all the people of the world.”
We can praise God for His unlimited love and faithfulness toward us.
In Daniel 2:1-21 we read about Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. When the king’s astrologers, magicians or enchanters were unable to reveal the meaning of the dream, Daniel went to see the king requesting more time to tell the king what the dream meant. On his way home he asks his friends to ask God to show them mercy by telling them the secret of the dream. That night the secret of the dream was revealed to Daniel in a vision. In v20 He praises the name of God.
In Daniel 4:34 even Nebuchadnezzar “praised and worshiped the Most High.”

New Testament:
Matthew 5:13-16 From the “Sermon on the Mount/Beatitudes.”  Jesus teaches about salt and light. We are to let our light shine so that people may see our good deeds and therefore praise our heavenly Father.
In Luke 2:8-20 we read that when Jesus was born in Bethlehem there were shepherds watching over their flocks at night. When an angel appeared to them giving them the good news of Jesus’ birth, a great company of heavenly host appeared with the angel praising God. The shepherds hurried to go and see the baby and after seeing Him they left, spreading the word about the birth of Jesus. They returned to the fields, glorifying and praising God.
In Acts 2:1-47 at the day of Pentecost, after Peter had addressed the crowd, there were those who believed his message and they were baptized.  About three thousand were added to their number that day. They met daily, breaking bread, praising God and enjoying the favour of the people.
Romans 15:1-13 In this passage Paul writes why the Messiah came; Jesus came to the Jews to show that God is true to the promises He made to their ancestors. In v9 he quotes from 2 Samuel 22:50 and Psalm 18:49 saying that Jesus also came so that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy and sing praises to Him.
Ephesians 1:3-14 is about “Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ” v14b “To the praise of His glory.

Application:
The Book of Psalms can be used not only for prayer but also for praises. David and the other writers of psalms all expressed their fears and doubts; confessed their sins; asked God for help and would then praise and worship Him.

  • Psalm 35:1-28 says that when we praise the LORD we take the focus from ourselves and instead put it on God. It brings us back to where we acknowledge that God is in control, not us, because as our Creator and King, He is above all.
  • Psalm 103:1-22 gives us a list for which we can praise the LORD. Forgiveness of sins; healing our diseases; redeems our life; crowns us with love and compassion; satisfies our desires; gives us righteousness and justice. At those times when it feels like: “life is getting you down” read Psalm 103 and praise the LORD!
  • David introduced music into the Tabernacle and Temple services. As we can see from our Biblical definition of Psalm 150 the music must have been loud and joyous as evidenced by the list of instruments, the presence of the choirs and song leaders.
  • When we feel that we are in a pit of despair and there is evil all around us, the best “medicine” is to praise the Lord. We learn this from Paul and Silas while they were in jail. Acts 16:16-40
  • Hebrews 13:1-16 There are times that our prayers are nothing but complaints about our circumstances or situations. We forget that God knows our hearts and He cares about our concerns. When we praise Him we focus on what He has done for us!

Conclusion:
Psalm 113:1 Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD you His servants; praise the name of the LORD. v2 Let the name of the LORD be praised, both now and forevermore.

Responding in Prayer:
Read Psalm 148:1-14 – Let all creation praise and worship the Lord.
In our prayers, we can respond by praising God for His holiness, mercy and justice; for His grace, goodness, kindness and salvation. Praise and worship usually go hand in hand. When there is praise on our lips, it usually overflows, so that we automatically worship the Lord in song.

Journal – Scripture/Prayers/Thoughts:

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