But the most obvious fact about praise -- whether of God or anything -- strangely escaped me. I thought of it in terms of compliment, approval, or the giving of honor. I had never noticed that all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise. ... The world rings with praise -- lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favorite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favorite game. ... I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation.
Awake, my soul, and with the sun thy daily course of duty run. Cast off dull sloth, and joyful rise to pay thy morning sacrifice. All praise to thee, who safe hast kept and hast refreshed me while I slept! Grant, Lord, when I from death shall wake, I may of endless life partake. All praise to thee, my God, this night for all the blessings of the light. Keep me, oh keep me, King of Kings, beneath Thine own almighty wings. Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow. Praise Him, all creatures here below. Praise Him above, ye heavenly host. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Do you have doubts about life? Are you unsure if it's worth the trouble? Look at the sky: that is for you. Look at each person's face as you pass on the street: those faces are for you. And the street itself, and the ground under the street and the ball of fire underneath the ground: all these things are for you. They are as much for you as they are for other people. Remember this when you wake up in the morning and think you have nothing. Stand up and face the east. Now praise the sky and praise the light within each person under the sky. It's okay to be unsure. But praise, praise, praise.
Our entire being is fashioned as an instrument of praise. Just as a master violin maker designs an instrument to produce maximum aesthetic results, so God tailor-made our bodies, souls and spirits to work together in consonance to produce pleasing expressions of praise and worship. When we use body language to express praise, that which is internal becomes visible.
When exhaling this air, we announced Jesus Christ risen by the same Spirit. No one can live without breathing. It is the same for the Christian: without praise and mission there is not Christian life. And with praise, worship. We rarely speak about worship. What do we do when we pray? We ask things of God, we give thanks. But worshipping and adoring God is part of breathing - praise and worship.
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