Devotional | Susie Wilson | May 26, 2024

Praise the Lord

Praise the Lord

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100


Do you know how many times the word “praise” is mentioned in the Bible? It varies and much depends on the translation. I am currently reading the ESV and NIV translations and the word “praise” occurs 238 times in the ESV and 363 in the NIV. In the NIV, 363 times. This word is mentioned enough for me to know that it is an important word.

There are seven Hebrew words for praise:

1. Hallal is a primary Hebrew root word for praise. Our word "hallelujah" comes from this base word. It means to be clear, to praise, to shine, to boast, to show, to rave, to celebrate, and to be clamorously foolish.

2. Yadah is a verb with a root meaning of the extended hand, to throw out the hand, therefore to worship with extended hand, to lift the hands.

3. Towdah comes from the same principle root word as yadah, but it is used more specifically. Towdah literally means an extension of the hand in adoration, an open declaration, or acceptance. It is apparent in the Psalms and elsewhere that towdah is used for thanking God for things not yet received as well as things already at hand.

4. Shabach means to shout, to address in a loud tone, to command, to triumph.

5. Barak means to kneel down, to bless God as an act of adoration, to salute.

6. Zamar means to pluck the strings of an instrument, to sing, to praise; a musical word which is largely involved with joyful expressions of music with musical instruments.

7. Tehillah is derived from the word halal and means the singing of halals, or simply to sing; perceived to involve music, especially singing; hymns of the Spirit or praise.

In 1674, before the great hymn writers Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley, there was a young Chaplain at the Winchester College for boys in England by the name of Thomas Ken. He wrote a few hymns to encourage the students to develop devotional habits. This was revolutionary because English hymns had not yet appeared; only the Psalms were sung in public worship. Ken suggested the boys use the newly-written hymns privately in their rooms. One hymn was to be sung upon waking, another at bedtime, and a third at midnight if sleep did not come. All three hymns ended with a common stanza, which has since become the most widely sung verse in the world.

“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.” The original title of this hymn was “Old 100th” because it was a setting from Psalm 100. We know it today as “The Doxology.” Doxology translates from the Greek words doxa, meaning praise, and logos, meaning word.

“The Doxology” is especially meaningful to me, certainly because of the history of the hymn, but also because it was such an important part of my life growing up. My dad was the Minister of Music at our church, and we sang this frequently. My dad also prayed thoughtful and beautiful prayers. More often than not, after praying, our family would hold hands and sing “The Doxology.” Now, as an adult, I have made it a habit to sing it every morning in the car on the way to work–it’s a wonderful way to start the day.


Lord, thank you for your everlasting love and faithfulness. Thank you for taking on my brokenness and showing me new life. Remind me of your promises, and renew my heart to be more like yours. It's in your perfect name, Amen. 

Susie Wilson
Worship Coordinator - OKC Location


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