Looking at the picture this week, you’d probably think, what a horrible place to live, what a depressing atmosphere. Those thoughts naturally come to mind and are somewhat justified. However, I know many men who are living in these conditions and some even more foreboding, and they are walking in total peace, living incredibly happy lives.
The word praise appears over 240 times in the Bible and is in 216 verses. After walking with Jesus for over thirty-seven years, I have learned and am convinced that praise is a key that will unlock doors that would otherwise remained locked. When I was newly saved (1983), my mother asked me if I knew why I was doing so well with my Christian walk. I told her no. She said it was because I had learned to praise the Lord.
Even though praise is mentioned 240 times, according to Strong’s Concordance you will only find seven different kinds of praise. In Psalm 119:164, David said, ‘seven times a day I praise You’. I have always wondered if he praised in all seven ways.
One of the types of praise is called yadah, which means with extended hands. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord (Psalm 134:2). Paul said, ‘I will that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting’ (I Timothy 2:8).
Lifting hands in the air is the hard part for many people with backgrounds like mine (almost forty years on the wrong side of the law). They might say, “Bill, do you mean like, I surrender?” That is exactly what I mean. Though this type of praise was hardest for me, I believe it truly is one that shows our total surrender to the King of Kings. When I was in school, if I knew the answer, I raised my hand. Now, I really know the answer (Jesus), so I raise both hands.
I believe when you really learn how to praise the Lord and mean it with all your heart, you’re not doing it just for show. You will begin a new walk with the Lord that will surpass anything you’ve experienced before. I know several inmates, some are good friends of mine, who have found that key and are walking every day in total peace.
I would encourage you to study all the types of praise and do all seven. The Bible says that God inhabits our praises. That means He dwells in our praises. Wow!
In HIS grip,