PRAISE IN SONG
by Wayne S. Walker
“I will praise You, O LORD, among the peoples, and I will sing praises to You among the nations” (Psalm 108:3). There are many ways that we can praise the Lord–in prayer, in speaking to others, in the way that we live. However, one of the most noticeable means by which we praise the Lord is in song. While any scriptural subject is acceptable material for our psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs by which we can teach and admonish one another, certainly praise should be a very import one. An old Latin hymn, dating back to the fourth century says, “Holy God, we praise Thy name; Lord of all, we bow before Thee.”
Of course, we do not speak Latin today, but the hymn has been translated into English. Believers all over the world and in every generation have written songs to praise God. In the 1600s, a German named Jacob Schutz wrote a hymn beginning, “Sing praise to God, who reigns above, The God of all creation,” and another German named Joachim Neander penned, “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation.” Both of these songs, also translated into English emphasize the fact that God is worthy of our praise, if for no other reason, because He is our Creator.
Many hymns have been written in English to praise God. Charles Wesley wrote, “O for a heart to praise my God, A heart from sin set free.” Anna L. Barbauld encouraged us to give “Praise to God, immortal praise, For the love that crowns our days.” Based upon the Psalms, Henry F. Lyte, author of “Abide with Me,” wrote “Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven” and ‘Praise the Lord, His Glories Show.” And coming to the United States, who can forget Fanny Crosby’s paean to Christ, “Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! Sing, O earth, His wonderful love proclaim!” Most of these songs have been in some of our books, but except for the last, the majority of our modern books do not have them. We would do well to have more “praise in song” as part of our worship services.