- The primary purpose of praise to God is to honor Him, to bless Him, and to please Him. We praise Him with our words, with our songs, and with our loving obedience. We praise Him for who He is and for all of His wonderful works, especially for His grace in accepting us and saving us (Eph. 1:5-7).
Along with this primary purpose of praise, God has also designed a secondary purpose for praise: to encourage and aid believers. (Overall, I think this is true for all of God’s purposes: that there is a primary purpose, which is directly for God—to praise Him and do His will, so that He will be blessed; and then there is also a secondary purpose, which is for us—basically, to be dependent on Him, to be aided and encouraged by Him, and to become like Him.)
Here are four secondary purposes of praise for believers:
- To encourage us. God designed that when we praise Him He wouldn’t be the only one to receive a blessing; we would be encouraged as well. Therefore, He gave us a command to be filled with the Spirit in order that we would praise Him and be encouraged (1Thess. 5:18, Eph. 5:19, Ps. 43:5).
- To keep the devil away from us. I think in many cases our way of escape from temptation is to sing and praise God and to listen to good Christian music. The devil, and all those evil doers who follow him, hate God and are repulsed by our praises to Him. Therefore, when they hear our praise, they will stay away from us (1 Cor. 10:13; Ja. 4:7-8).
- To aid us in our prayers. When we have things to petition God for, or if we just need to spend time with Him, praise at the start will help to set the right mood. It will get our mind focused on God so that our heart is filled with love for Him.
- To make us more like God. To praise is to be full of joy and rejoicing; hence, when we praise God we sing to Him and we rejoice because of Him. And we know that this is what God is like—full of joy—because it is one of the fruits of the Spirit. Therefore, when we praise Him we are being like Him (and it is proof that we abide in Christ). This I think is the main purpose for praise for us, ranked above the other three; it brings a deeper meaning to the purpose of praise.