Praise the Lord! How good to sing praises to our God! How delightful and fitting! … Glorify the Lord, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion! [Psalm 147:1,12 (NLT)
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. [Thomas Ken]
Fortunately, the words to Vivaldi’s “Laudamus te” from his Gloria were shown on the screen in the front of the auditorium: “We praise you. We bless you. We adore you. We glorify you.” The soprano’s exquisite voice did that beautifully. When she was finished, I thought back to last summer when hiking in the Canadian Rockies. While gazing at the breathtaking scenery, I turned to my husband and said, “I’m singing at the top of my lungs—you just can’t hear me!” While relishing the splendor of a glacial lake and waterfall, I was silently singing the Doxology for a private audience and the One for whom I sang heard me loud and clear. Had I sung that song of praise aloud, however, it wouldn’t have sounded anywhere as pleasant as that soprano’s clear voice. Nevertheless, I think God enjoyed my song just as much.
After the concert, I wondered if we praise, bless, adore and glorify God anywhere near as much as we should. Every action we take, every thought we think, and every word we say should do those very things but, at least for me, that is not the case. Praising God is joyfully detailing all that God has done. As I did in the mountains, we often offer praise when we are overwhelmed by His magnificent creation but often forget Him in the little routine gifts of everyday life. Yet, I wonder, how can we possibly bless God? Whenever He’s blessed us, our lives have been enriched—we’ve been helped, healed, gifted or made stronger or wiser. How can we bless God when there’s nothing we can do for or give to Him that could make Him any better than He already is? When we bless God, however, we’re proclaiming our gratitude, appreciation and admiration for His blessings. To adore God is to love and worship Him and to glorify Him is to acknowledge His greatness. After all, it is He alone who deserves to be honored and worshipped; it is all His creation and anything we have achieved is only through His power. In all of these actions, we joyfully make an offering of self and surrender to God’s will.
Let’s not wait until we view majestic mountain scenery or a stellar sunset, hear Vivaldi’s Gloria or Handel’s Messiah, or even sing the Doxology to acknowledge God’s power and glory and take joy in His limitless grace. God’s fingerprints are as visible in our everyday chores as they are in a beautiful waterfall and our every thought, word and deed should be a prayerful song that praises, blesses, adores and glorifies His holy name.
God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. [John Piper]