Saturday, July 30, 2005

Put On the Garment of Praise

Today I exhort you to put on the garment of praise so that you can enjoy God in the spirit of happiness, victory, peace, and prosperity.

What does it mean to put on the garment of praise?" So glad you asked!

Praise is defined as: a) the radiation or aura that surrounds the body; b) the quality of mind that eulogizes (which is to say it extols or raves about) the good; one of the avenues through which spirituality expresses itself; c) an expression of admiration or appreciation.

The purpose of praise is to clue us in to the awesomeness that is God. We, not God, are changed by prayer and praise. The mental attitude that praise sets up quickens our ideals, whirls them into action, and finally establishes them in our character.

We increase whatever we praise. One can praise a weak body into strength, a fearful heart into peace and trust, shattered nerves into poise and power, a failing business into prosperity and success, want and insufficiency into supply and support. All of creation responds to praise, and is glad.

The law of praise is put into action when we give thanks always for all things, recognizing that “to them that love God all things work together for good” (Rom. 8:28).

Praise is essentially a response to God, who meets us through revelation. Revelation makes us aware of who God is and of His qualities. The natural response to God’s self-revelation is not only faith but also praise. In praise, we reflect back to God those facets of Himself which He has revealed to us by expressions of our admiration and appreciation.

Praise may be expressed in private or public worship, in words or in song. Some models for praise are found in the psalms, hymns (see Rev. 4:11; 5:9-10, 19:1-8), and prayers recorded in Scripture.

Psalm 145 shows us many of the characteristics of praise:

• It is addressed to God
• It contemplates His works and His character, and
• It blesses God and His name--that is, it expresses appreciation to God for who He is by nature.

In the process, the psalm not only ascribes worth to God but deepens our innermost sense of what He means to us.

Praise springs from our fellowship with God and the joy His goodness toward us brings (Ps. 107:8,9). Praise is a characteristic of those who follow God, even as the absence of praise marks the lost (1 Pet. 2:9, compare Rom. 1:21) or those out of fellowship with the Lord.

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