The best way to overcome any inhibitions concerning praise is to learn as much
as you can from God's word about it, thereby germinating and generating faith
and enthusiasm that will overcome those inhibitions. Therefore, let us examine
the Hebrew words for praise contained in the book of Psalms. By
examining these words, you will broaden your understanding and perception of
praise and, in turn, develop faith, resulting in confidence in the area of
praise. The first word is:
- To revere in worship using the hands as if to throw away from one's self
praises toward God (the idea would be to aim or focus one's praises toward God
as if aiming at a target).
We find this word translated into the word “praise” in
Psalms 7:17. “I will praise (yadah) the Lord according
to His righteousness: and will sing praise (zamar) to the name of the Lord
Most High.” Other examples of this word are found in
Psalms 42:5, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted
in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise (yadah)
him for the help of his countenance,” Psalms 138:2, “I will
worship toward thy holy temple, and praise (yadah) thy name for thy
lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all
thy name,” and
Isaiah 12:1-4, “And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will
praise (yadah) thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned
away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and
not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is
become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the
wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, Praise (yadah) the
Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention
that his name is exalted.”
The idea is to visualize one’s praises ascending toward God; the hands being
that point from which our praises are released. We find the hands used
frequently in this manner throughout the world in conjunction with praise and
In athletic events and diverse festive gatherings, etc., people will often
raise, wave, or applaud with the hands as an expression of admiration and joy.
How much more so should we, as born again believers, use our hands unashamedly
to praise the Living God? Paul says in 1 Timothy 2:8,
“I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without
wrath and doubting.” In other words, don't allow yourself
to be angry or doubtful as a result of things not working your way, thereby
Realize that God has His timing and continue praising Him for the answer.
Galatians 4:4, “But when the fulness of the time was
come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.”
Praise Him in full confidence and faith that He is worthy to receive the
praise and glory that is due Him by us.
- To strike with fingers a musical instrument accompanied by a vocalized
celebration of praise. To celebrate in song or music; to give praise with
instruments and voice.
It is translated into the word “praise” in Psalms
21:13. “Be thou exalted, Lord, in thine own strength: so will we
sing and praise (zamar) thy power.” It is also found in
Psalms 57:7, “My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I
will sing and give praise (zamar),” Psalms 108:1, “O God,
my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise (zamar), even with my glory,”
Psalms 138:1, “I will praise (yadah) thee with my whole
heart: before the gods will I sing praise (zamar) unto thee.”
All of these verses of scripture involve instrumental accompaniment. In
“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the
Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” Paul is
exhorting us to speak to ourselves by singing, to make melody in our hearts
unto the Lord, the result being that we will be filled with the Holy Spirit of
God because of our communion with Him.
zamar implies that instrumentation be used in accompaniment with
singing. This could be accomplished in several ways. When we gather
together as a congregation in our local assembly of believers, if instruments
are being used and we sing, we are fulfilling this word. If we utilize
taped accompaniments in our homes on cassette tapes, instrumentation is being
utilized and we may sing along with the tape.
It is worthwhile for a believer to learn an instrument in their spare time and
in private moments or with gatherings to play their instruments and sing
Note: If you have a problem singing in a congregational setting because
of inhibitions rooted in the thought that you are unable to sing, direct all
singing toward God and try not to feel conscious of those around you.
If it is hard for you to sing properly, that is to sing on key, you may wish
to practice singing in your car while driving or in your home singing along
with taped music. The placement of earplugs or cotton in the ears
will help one to hear themselves sing and increase the accuracy of their
pitch. If this does not seem to help, one may want to seek moderate
tutoring in the areas of singing.
- To be clear or to shine, hence to make a show or boast and thus be
clamorously foolish. To rave, celebrate and stultify. It pertains
more to the color of praise rather than the sound of praise. In other
words, the shining expressiveness of one's self.
It is translated into the word “praise” in Psalms
22:22. “I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the
midst of the congregation will I praise (halal) thee.” It is
also found in
Psalms 35:18, “I will give thee thanks in the great
congregation: I will praise (halal) thee among much people,” Psalms 63:5,
“My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth
shall praise (halal) thee with joyful lips,” and Psalms 107:32,
“Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise (halal)
him in the assembly of the elders.”
Notice in Psalms
that the psalmist is saying to praise the Lord with halal in the
congregation. Praising God exuberantly in the congregation will many
times stun or shock others around us not so inclined. But when one
is filled with exceeding great joy from the Holy Spirit, Peter says it is joy
unspeakable and full of glory. 1 Peter 1:8, “Whom
having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing,
ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”
Many times while worshipping God and drawing nigh unto Him, believers will be
filled with the Holy Spirit to the point where it cannot be contained and
great enthusiasm will be released in the form of praise unto God.
This is not something new that we should be surprised at the thought of, that
is, to be rejoicing in a clamorous and enthusiastic manner before the Lord
with praise. All you have to do is tune in to one of the prime time game
shows and watch the response when people win thousands of dollars or view the
reaction of people at various athletic events when their team wins. You
may have seen a video clip of a rock concert. The reactions and
reasons for them are usually absurd yet these same people may find it
absurd to worship God exuberantly.
All of these things are rooted in man's strong desire to rejoice and be happy
and one may not have to look too far to see this kind of expression going on
in the world today. Some of it is healthy and some is unacceptable.
If people are willing to shine forth in the aforementioned settings,
how much more so before the Living God? God has designated this to us
that we might rejoice before Him and be filled with His glory.
- This word is rooted in the word we just examined, halal. It
means to praise or commend in the form of a hymn. Being that it
is rooted in the word halal, we would conclude that an
enthusiastic form of singing is implied.
It has been translated into the word “praise” in Psalms 9:14.
“That I may shew forth all thy praise (tehillah) in the gates of the
Zion: I will rejoice in thy
It is also found in Psalms 22:25, “My praise (tehillah)
shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them
that fear him,” Psalms 71:6, “By thee have I been holden
up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother's bowels: my
praise (tehillah) shall be continually of thee,” and Psalms
106:2, “Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord? who can shew
forth all his praise (tehillah).”
We see through the understanding of this word (considering that it is rooted
in the word halal), that we are to sing unto God with a great deal of
enthusiasm and very expressively.
sang a hymn - Matt 26:30, Mark 14:26
When coupled together with the next Hebrew word for praise, it produces an
exciting atmosphere for worship!
- It is rooted in the word yadah and it means to extend the hands in
approval or adoration, specifically in a choir of worshippers.
Commentary: It is translated into the word “praise” in
Psalms 42:4. “When I remember these things, I pour out my
soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house
of God, with the voice of joy and praise (towdah), with a multitude that kept
You will also find it in Psalms 50:23, “Whoso offereth praise (towdah)
glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew
the salvation of God,” and Jeremiah 17:26, “And
they shall come from the cities of Judah, and from the places about Jerusalem,
and from the land of Benjamin, and from the plain, and from the mountains, and
from the south, bringing burnt offerings, and sacrifices, and meat offerings,
and incense, and bringing sacrifices of praise (towdah), unto the house of the
From this we can visualize a congregational or choir setting wherein the
people involved are lifting their hands and singing aloud unto the Lord
expressing their love for God. It is no wonder why the world, in
general, enjoys going to musical concerts of different sorts to feel the
warmth of music and the power there is in music to hopefully
capture a glimpse of fulfillment through these worldly gatherings.
We, as believers, have the highest form of musical gatherings when we come
together to sing praises to our Lord and King.
- This word is a Hebrew root word and properly means to address in a loud
tone, specifically loud and figuratively to pacify.
It is translated into the word “praise” in Psalms
63:3,“Because thy loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise (shabach)
thee.” It is also found in Psalms 117:1, "O praise (halal)
the Lord, all ye nations: praise (shabach) him, all ye people,"
Psalms 145:4, "One generation shall praise (shabach) thy works to another, and
shall declare thy mighty acts,"
and Psalms 147:12, “Praise (shabach) the Lord, O
Jerusalem; praise (halal)
thy God, O Zion.”
Loud is the word
we should note in the meaning of this word for praise. It is not
always necessary for one to praise the Lord loudly but on the other hand,
it is not always proper to praise quietly. Perhaps understanding
the need to praise loudly sheds light upon the reason why people, at a time of
great excitement or release of energy, will make loud vocal exclamatory sighs
or remarks, during an athletic feat, magnificent sunrise, or a cosmic wonder.
If creation in all it's grandeur induces such praise, how much more the
Note: The scripture references given to each Hebrew word mentioned do
not constitute the total number of scriptures wherein these words are used.
Since praising God brings us into communion with God, it also causes us to
become a channel or conduit of His power. If one will learn how to praise God
on a regular basis, they are sure to experience this power in their lives. An
atmosphere of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit is sure to fill,
surround, and emanate from the believer who maintains an attitude and practice
of praising God in their lives. Oppression or heaviness of heart is sure
to be driven away. Dark clouds of confusion and despair are likewise
unable to remain where the power of God is present. Isaiah 61:3,
“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes,
the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise (tehillah) for the
spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the
planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.”
We can find examples of Israel winning tremendous battles as a result of
praise preluding the battle, when they thought the opposition was
overwhelming. King David, who is considered to be the most victorious
and triumphant king that Israel ever had, until Christ, praised God
continually throughout his life. This is evident in many of the psalms
that he wrote.
When we sing and praise in the midst of opposition, we are signifying that we
are not in agreement with the situation we're in. By that I mean we are
not allowing the environment to affect us when it is not in harmony with God's
Word, but rather as we praise God, we are proclaiming victory through Jesus
Christ. This opens a channel through our faith for the power of God to be
released and turn an impossible situation completely around.
Acts, Chapter 16, Paul and Silas were thrown into jail and chained.
Rather than becoming depressed with their situation and blame God for it, they
began to sing hymns, praise and worship God! I'm sure that those jailed
with them thought them to be quite insane until they experienced the
earthquake and their subsequent release from their chains and bands,
verses 25-26, “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 every one's bands
The jailer himself knew that he needed to be saved. No one had to
tell him. He realized the power of God had visited that little jail
and he cried,
“What must I do to be saved?”
Praising God in the midst of opposition or tribulation is sure to result in
some kind of deliverance. The key is to by-pass what we see and feel
in the natural world and enter into praise