Thursday, June 30, 2011

Praising God

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits..." Psalm 103:1-2
Last night I facilitated a great conversation about praising God in our combined adult Bible class, Going Deep. I had asked the tables to discuss a small way that they have seen God at work. After that I wondered if the table discussion itself could be considered praise of God. One of the points of conversation centered on whether everything we did could be considered praise of God. This was an interesting development, especially as I asked a followup question, "Are you sure everything we do can be considered praise of God?"

Truly the summons to "let everything that has breath praise the Lord" (Psalm 150:6) is present! We certainly need to praise the Lord with everything. I just wonder, as I mentioned as an example last night, whether we would consider even lament as praise of God. Praise, in my mind, could be contained within lament, yet I think they are two distinct things. Is praise just all the good fluffy bunny stuff? Is there a darker side to praise that still contains trust?

I tend to think expressions of praise (both verbal and non-verbal, human and non-human) include expressions of thanks, blessing, magnifying, glorifying, and singing. And my last post about talking to trees betrays my thinking in terms of all creations' ability to speak. What do you think: is there a line to help us understand where praise begins and ends? (leave a quick comment on the blog)

4 comments:

Laurie Pegoda said...

we should be striving to praise God at all times but we tend to fail miserably at times!!!

Warren Baldwin said...

I think such discussions can constitute praise. Good class.

Chris said...

Yeah. I'm encouraged with discussion that leads us to consider praise as something that exists outside the walls of our building!

Fully Blessed said...

I think sometimes we have to realize that everyone's praise is not the same. Some people are silent praisers, other people are outspoken, some are expressive in their praise. It is kinda like you said we all have a different perspective and therefore different ways of expressing praise.