Skip to comments.The Power of Praise
Posted on 02/07/2014 4:46:01 AM PST by mgist
SOMETHING strange and seemingly foreign began spreading through Catholic churches in the 1970′s. All of a sudden certain parishioners began raising their hands at Mass. And there were these meetings happening in the basement where people were singing songs, but often not like upstairs: these people were singing with the heart. They would devour Scripture like it was a sumptuous banquet and then, once again, close their meetings with songs of praise.
These so-called charismatics were doing nothing new. They were simply following in the footsteps of both Old and New Testament expressions of worship that have never gone out of vogue because praise of God is a matter of the heart, not style.
For King David, praise made up the very warp and woof of his existence.
With his whole being he loved his Maker and daily had His praises sung (first reading)
Pope Francis recently exhorted all the Catholic faithful to pray with our whole heart like David. But he went even further, suggesting that spontaneous prayer of the heart is not an expression reserved only for movements like the Charismatic Renewal.
if we close ourselves in formality, our prayer becomes cold and sterile Davids prayer of praise brought him to leave all form of composure and to dance in front of the Lord with all his strength. This is the prayer of praise! But, Father, this is for those of Renewal in the Spirit (the Charismatic movement), not for all Christians. No, the prayer of praise is a Christian prayer for all of us! POPE FRANCIS, Jan. 28th, 2014; Zenit.org
But why? Why should we praise God? Is it to appease a divine-sized ego, as atheists would suggest? No. God does not need our praise. But worship is what opens wide our hearts to the Lord creating a divine exchange that literally blesses and transforms us as we bless Him.
Blessing expresses the basic movement of Christian prayer: it is an encounter between God and man our prayer ascends in the Holy Spirit through Christ to the Fatherwe bless him for having blessed us; it implores the grace of the Holy Spirit that descends through Christ from the Fatherhe blesses us. Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), 2626; 2627
How often I have experienced this encounter with God through praise and adoration. When my ministry first began, we would lead people into Gods presence by singing simple songs of praise like the one at the end of this meditation. Just praising God, I have seen so many miracles, both physical and spiritual. Why? For one, we would often lift up the name of Jesus 1
To pray Jesus is to invoke him and to call him within us.CCC, 2666
or wed sing the words that David wrote, such as in todays Psalm: The Lord live! And blessed be my Rock!
you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. (Psalm 22:3, RSV)
We see in Scripture that praising God sets in motion the powerful interaction and presence of ministering and warring angels. When the people praised, the walls of Jericho fell,2 armies were ambushed;3 and chains fell from Paul and Silas.4 Brothers and sisters, isnt Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever?5 Praise will set us free too.
But many of us dont know the power and experience of Gods presence because we do not pray with the heart, including praise with the heart. Does this mean that you need to raise your hands to God, or even dance like David in His presence?
We are body and spirit, and we experience the need to translate our feelings externally. We must pray with our whole being to give all power possible to our supplication.CCC 2702
If raising your hands helps you to pray with the heart, then do it. Who cares what people think?
It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument. (1 Tim 2:8)
Herod, in todays Gospel, cared so much about what others thought that he was willing to lop off the head of John the Baptist to impress them. We need to be careful that in wanting to fit in or not be noticed, we dont cut off the graces, prophetic words, or anointing that God wants to pour into our hearts.
Above all, we need to learn to praise God in good times and bad: in all circumstances give thanks.6 One of the most powerful experiences in my life came during a time when I felt like doing anything but praising God. You can read it here: Praise to Freedom.
So what are you waiting for? In your words, from the heart, begin to thank God for His blessings and praise Him for being all that He isand receive His blessing in return.7
Amen to these thoughts!
We praise You Jesus. You are our real King, and we look to You for guidance, direction, and strength. Protect our nation from the forces of darkness, and help us to do Your will this day, and every day. We adore you, we need you, and we thank you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. William Arthur Ward
Yes indeed! Open a Bible to the pages that hold the last of the Psalms. Underline or highlight EVERY time it mentions “Praise”. You can’t miss it.