Discover How to Praise God
I often say the word “bless.” In prayer, I frequently ask for God’s blessing on myself and others. In essence I am asking for God’s divine favor or grace to be imparted.
Other times I have seen one person bless another by “conveying well-being or prosperity” to them. Sometimes this is done in the context of a prayer, a commissioning ceremony, or a benediction.
Both of these examples make sense to me and are readily understandable—because in both instances a “person” of authority or power is blessing someone of lessor standing (See Hebrews 7:7).
However, I recently heard someone “bless” God. Initially I assumed that he misspoke. When he said it again, I thought he had it backwards. After all, it seems a bit arrogant to bless God in the same way that we ask him to bless us.
Then I began stumbling on this in the Bible. Some translations of Psalms 26:12 and 34:1, for example, talk about blessing God. Other versions instead use the words “praise” or “extol.”
Fortunately, the dictionary provides some help in understanding this seeming dichotomy. One of the definitions of “bless” is to “To honor as holy; glorify: Bless the Lord.”
So in expanding my understanding of “bless” to include honor and glorify, then, yes, I bless God! Do you?
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.