Why is praise so important? Why is it a consistent feature of almost every prayer? Does God need it? No. God’s ego is not so fragile that God needs our constant praise and support. But God knows we need to praise God in order to keep our focus centered on God. We need to remember who God is and how God acts prior to our asking God for anything.
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus… And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.” A robust theology of creation does not lead to this world-denying conclusion, but rather results in full and joyous participation in creation. Things do not become dimmer, but rather, they become clearer in light of God’s truth concerning creation.
In the presence of truth, goodness, and beauty, we find ourselves inexplicably driven to voice our approval and bear witness of this approval to others. Why? Because we are homo religiosus – worshipping beings. Our positive affirmations of truth, goodness, and beauty should lead us to their true source and goal – God.
What are the current weaknesses in contemporary worship music? The absence of Trinitarian language and recounting God’s story, a low regard for the church, an over-reliance on romantic ideals, the lack of a social justice vision and expressions of human pain and suffering – these are all problematic in the large scope of Christian faith and practice.