Praise and Thanksgiving: The Importance for Our Lives and Community

By Felix Septianto

Psalm 100 — A Psalm of Thanksgiving
1 Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
2 Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy.
3 Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

Definition (Google): the expression of respect and gratitude as an act of worship.

Praising God will remind us to be thankful of His goodness.

1. Praising God Will Grow Our Relationship with Him.
Romantic partners who praise each other will have a better relationship in the next 6 months (Algoe et al. 2013).
Grateful people are more responsive to the benefactors’ needs and wants (Algoe 2012).
Gratitude helps people to notice positive qualities of their benefactors (Algoe and Haidt 2009).

2. Praising God Will Give Us Joy in Him.
“Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing praise to his name, for that is pleasant” (Psa. 135:3).
“Praise the LORD. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!” (Psa. 147:1).

I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed. It is frustrating to have discovered a new author and not to be able to tell anyone how good he is; to come suddenly, at the turn of the road, upon some mountain valley of unexpected grandeur and then to have to keep silent because the people with you care for it no more than for a tin can in the ditch; to hear a good joke and find no one to share it with… The Scotch catechism says that man’s chief end is ‘to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.’ But we shall then know that these are the same thing. Fully to enjoy is to glorify. In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him. —CS Lewis (1958, Reflections on the Psalms)

3. Praising God Transforms the Spiritual Environment that We Have.
“The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang: ‘He is good; his love endures forever.’ Then the temple of the LORD was filled with a cloud, and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the temple of God” (2 Chron. 5:13-14).

4. Praising God Helps Us to Love Others.
God gave worship so that we might become partners in His highest purposes. — Jack Hayford
Grateful people are more likely to help strangers, and not just the benefactors (Bartlett and DeSteno 2006).