Christian Praise: Gratitude with Your ‘Spiritual Signature’

  by Greg Silverthorne

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The praise of ‘Real’ Christians is vitally important, allowing them to glorify God and disarm the Devil too.  Having already addressed Worship and Stories, this Series post will explore Praise.  Because your God-exalting gratitude is unique to you, and can only be offered by you, it serves as your Spiritual Signature.

When you Bless the Blessor for His Blessings, you’re Praising the Lord.  The great gospel song which comes to mind when I think of Praise, one which is scripturally well-grounded, is “I Came to Magnify the Lord“.  One of the scriptures which clearly inspired the writing of this song is the 34th Psalm; the 19th Chapter of the Book of Luke is another driver of this anointed song.

The video of the song, by Bishop Clarence McClendon and the Harvest Fire Mega Mass Choir, can be found below.  The lyrics of I Came to Magnify the Lord, partially excerpted below, are powerful prose.  It’s a Gospel Gem that beautifully captures several elements of Praise.  Honestly, if I were deserted on an Island for 90 days, “I Came To Magnify the Lord” would be one of the gospel songs I’d want to listen to while stranded – to encourage me . . . as I waited for the Lord to show up!  Like Paul and Silas in jail (Acts 16, prior post), I’d be singing, magnifying the Lord, and praying.

  • I Came to Magnify the Lord”(Gospel)

Bishop Clarence McClendon and the Harvest Fire Mega Mass Choir

I came to magnify the Lord
Praise His holy name
Lift Jesus higher, lift Jesus Higher
I just came to magnify, I just came to glorify
I just came to praise the Lord . . .

Never will a rock cry out in my place
He’s worthy of all my praise.


  • Psalm 34:1-3, 8 (NKJV)

I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad. 

Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!



SCRIPTURE (Praise)

Psalm 18:3

I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies.

Isaiah 43:21

This people I have formed for Myself;
They shall declare My praise.

Psalm 34:1-10

I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.

I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him.
The young lions lack and suffer hunger;
But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.

Romans 15:11

And again: “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles!   Laud Him, all you peoples!”

Psalm 148: 1-4

Praise the Lord!   Praise the Lord from the heavens;
Praise Him in the heights!
Praise Him, all His angels;
Praise Him, all His hosts!
Praise Him, sun and moon;
Praise Him, all you stars of light!
Praise Him, you heavens of heavens,
And you waters above the heavens!

Luke 19:37-40 (See Crying Rocks?)

Psalm 22:3 (He dwells in your Praise)

But You are holy,
Enthroned In the praises of Israel.


Three Purposes of Praise (Dr. Derrick W. Webster)

Praise does 3 key things, namely:

1. “[Praise] glorifies God and keeps our focus on him and his power”.
2. “Praise encourages the believer in the natural, while waiting on the invisible to become visible”.
3. “Praise terrifies the enemy and throws his ranks into confusion”.

This is the way my Tuesday Night Bible Study teacher, Dr. Derrick Wayne Webster, explained the purposes of Praise.  Citing that the Lord dwells in our Praise (Psalm 22:3), Webster (who also serves as Director of Music) expressed that it is through our praise that we’re able to ‘access our ammunition’ and ‘beat up’ the Devil.  Praise glories the Holy One and terrifies the Evil One! It encourages believers as well.  Spiritual warfare without praise is impossible. Impossible.

This lesson coming in the same month (March 2014) as I discovered “My Worship is For Real”, and read Joe Quatrone’s powerful testimony, was a well-timed Godsend.  I began then to strongly sense, nearly a year ago, that Praise is as integral to Real Christian Living as Worship, Prayer, and knowing the word of God.

Crying Rocks?

  • Never ‘let a rock cry out of your place’

Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying: “ ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’   Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”  And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”   But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.” Luke 19:37-40 (NKJV)

The stones of the wall will cry out,
and the beams of the woodwork will echo it.
Habakkuk 2:11 (NIV)

 


2 Gospel songs (Videos) which capture the power of Praise by Christians:

I Came to Magnify the Lord

Bishop Clarence McClendon and the Harvest Fire Mega Mass Choir


I Will Bless the Lord

Bryon Cage


Ready, Set, Praise

I feel that one’s Praise (link) is one of the six Potent Pillars of Real Christian Living. An abiding Christian should Praise the Lord continuously.  Never ever let a rock cry (Luke 19:40) out of your place!

Trust the Lord enough to P.U.S.H – Praise Until Something Happens (prior post). Know that a “No” from the Lord often means “Not Yet”.   Believe with your whole heart that, even if he doesn’t swiftly change your undesirable situation, he CAN change You in the situation.   Faith that’s never tested isn’t really faith at all.  There’s no testimony without a test, right?

Be prepared to Praise Him In advance (before the storm is over), not just after you’ve been blessed.  Appreciate that the Praise of others is rooted in joy and pain you’ll never fully understand.  Be assured that, with Praise, you can glorify the Lord and terrify the Devil – at the SAME time!  If you’re not magnifying the Lord at every chance, you may be missing some of your best blessings.

Praise: Your Spiritual Signature

Like your written signature, your Praise is unique to you.  The Spirituality of your Praise is based in YOUR distinct life stories and personal relationship with Christ. To not praise the Lord is like giving God an unsigned check.  Real Christians praise Him.  Be it in private, or in public Praise Reports, strive to Praise and Bless the Lord regularly.  Be it in good or bad times, a faithful Christian is a Praising Christian who ‘walks by faith’. Having that faith allows you to endure until ‘all things work together’ (Romans 8). We were made to praise (Isaiah 43:21).

Be mindful that Praise is NOT a spectator sport!

  • If you are on Christ’s Team, if you are a saved child of God, you’ll never be playing alone.  If you Praise the Lord regularly, be ASSURED that you’ll get many ‘assists’ (i.e. blessings) in this zigzagging game we call Life.  Jesus Christ, and many God-directed Angels, will allow you to be ‘more than a conqueror’.   Much more!
  • Lastly, when ‘your season is over’ (i.e. when you die), you will -with God’s grace- be transitioned to a new Team.  As a ‘good and faithful servant’, you’ll be with your Heavenly Father.  He’ll warmly greet you at the gates of Heaven and tell you “Well done”.

Have you been good and faithful?  Have you praised the Lord today?  To put it simply, if Christ is the keeper of your soul, your Praise simply seals the deal! ‘Perfect peace’ and, God willing, eternal salvation will be your Prizes.  What does a real Christian do?  Every chance they get, they praise and pray.  Is your Praise and Worship for real?  Praise, in music and song, will be explored in the next Praise post in this Our Stories, Our Praise, Our Worship Series.

Know the battle’s not yours, it’s the Lord’s.  Never let a rock cry out of your place.  Never, never!  To God be the Glory.  He’s worthy of all your Praise.

   Greg Silverthorne


Photo credit:  Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)/flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

 

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