Understanding the Terms Associated with Praise
By Keith GaddisWhen we pray, we find ourselves using various phrases and words to express our praise to God. But there is often much more meaning to the words than we understand. What are we really saying to the Lord when we pray things like, “I put my faith and trust in You, sovereign God,” “I praise Your name and I bless You, Lord,” or “I magnify Your name and exalt You above all things”? Each of these words has a much richer and deeper meaning. Understanding this can enhance your praise-prayer language. Faith: Faith is trust in, or reliance on, God who is Himself trustworthy.1 Faith is, in general, the persuasion of the mind that a certain statement is true (2 Thess. 2:13). Its primary idea is trust. A thing is true, and therefore worthy of trust.2 Trust: The Hebrew word meaning “trust” (batah) signifies the type of relationship that exists between two people. It means that each person can depend on the other person to follow through on what he or she promises, and that the other person will handle his or her heart with care. In worship we tell God that we trust Him because we have learned that He will always do what He says He will do, and He will always handle our hearts with care, looking out for our best interests. Praise: Praise can mean a variety of things:
- To speak of something in favorable terms—“to praise, to speak well of.”
- To speak of something as being unusually fine and deserving honor.
- To speak of the excellence of a person, object, or event—“. . . a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God” (Luke 2:13).
- To speak of a person in terms of that individual’s greatness—“For they heard them speaking with strange sounds and praising God’s greatness” (Acts 10:46, GNT).
- To express honor, with a possible implication of acknowledging the nature of someone or something—“Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles” (Rom. 15:9).