Exploring the Essence of Praising God: Vertical and Horizontal Dimensions

Praising God is a fundamental aspect of many religious and spiritual traditions worldwide. It transcends mere verbal expressions of admiration or gratitude; it’s an act deeply rooted in faith, reverence, and humility. At its core, praising God is about recognizing the divine attributes, expressing gratitude for blessings, and acknowledging the sovereignty and majesty of the Creator.

 

 

Understanding Praising God:

Praising God is a multifaceted concept that encompasses various forms of worship and adoration. It’s an acknowledgment of God’s greatness, goodness, and faithfulness. Through praise, believers express their devotion, awe, and dependency on the divine

Attributes of Praising God:

Adoration

Praising God involves exalting His name and character. It’s about recognizing and celebrating His perfection, holiness, and glory.

 

Psalm 145:3

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.

Revelation 4:11

You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being

Gratitude

Gratitude is a central element of praising God. It involves acknowledging His blessings, provisions, and mercies bestowed upon individuals and communities

Psalm 100:4

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name

1 Thessalonians 5:18

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Surrender

Praising God often involves surrendering one’s will and desires to His divine authority. It’s an act of submission and trust in His wisdom and guidance.

Psalm 37:5

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Celebration

Praising God is also about celebrating His works and deeds. It’s rejoicing in His creation, salvation, and redemptive acts throughout history.

Psalm 96:11-12

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.

Luke 15:10

In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.

Types of Ways to Praise God:

Praising God can take many forms, ranging from individual acts of devotion to communal expressions of worship. Here are some common ways people praise God:

1.Prayer

Prayer is a vital avenue for praising God. It allows believers to communicate with the divine, express their gratitude, and seek His guidance and intervention in their lives.

Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God

Matthew 6:6

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

2. Worship

Worship involves honoring God through music, singing, and other forms of artistic expression. It’s a powerful way to engage the heart and soul in praising God’s greatness.

Psalm 95:1-2

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.

John 4:23-24

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.

3. Service

Serving others in love and compassion is a form of praising God. It’s about embodying His teachings and reflecting His character through acts of kindness and generosity.

Matthew 25:40

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.

Galatians 5:13

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

4. Study

Engaging in the study of sacred texts and teachings is a way to praise God. It involves seeking wisdom, understanding, and spiritual enlightenment from His word.

Psalm 119:105

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

5. Sacrifice

Sacrificing one’s time, resources, and desires for the greater good is a form of praising God. It demonstrates devotion and obedience to His will and commands.

Romans 12:1

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

Hebrews 13:16

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

Vertical and Horizontal Praise:

Vertical and horizontal praise are two dimensions of worship that reflect the relationship between individuals and God, as well as their relationships with others.

Vertical Praise:

Vertical praise refers to the upward orientation of worship towards God. It’s the direct communication and adoration between the individual and the divine. Vertical praise focuses on exalting God’s name, seeking His presence, and aligning one’s heart and will with His.
Certainly! Vertical praise, which involves the direct communication and adoration between the individual and God, is supported by numerous scriptures in the Christian Bible Bible. Here are some examples:

Psalm 95: 1-7

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.

Psalm 150:1-6

Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.

Psalm 34:1

I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.

Psalm 103:1-2

Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—

Isaiah 25:1 (NIV)

Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.

Philippians 4:4 (NIV):

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

These scriptures emphasize the importance of praising God directly, expressing gratitude, adoration, and reverence towards Him. They encourage believers to worship God with joy, thanksgiving, and an acknowledgment of His greatness, faithfulness, and sovereignty.

Horizontal Praise:

Horizontal praise, on the other hand, involves the outward expression of worship towards others. It’s about how believers interact with and serve their fellow human beings in a manner that reflects their reverence for God. Horizontal praise encompasses acts of love, kindness, and compassion towards neighbors, strangers, and even enemies.

 

Horizontal praise, which involves the outward expression of worship towards others, is also emphasized in various scriptures in the  Christian Bible Bible. Here are some examples:

Matthew 5:16

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Galatians 5:13-14

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

James 2:15-17 (NIV)

Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

1 John 3:17-18

If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth

Ephesians 4:32

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you

Philippians 2:3-4

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

1 John 3:17-18

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.

These scriptures highlight the importance of loving and serving others as a form of worship to God. They emphasize the need for believers to demonstrate their faith through actions of compassion, kindness, generosity, and service towards their fellow human beings.

Conclusion:

Praising God is a profound spiritual practice that enriches the lives of believers and strengthens their connection to the divine. It’s a dynamic and transformative process that encompasses various forms of worship, adoration, and service. Whether through prayer, worship, or acts of kindness, praising God fosters a deeper understanding of His love, mercy, and grace. By embracing both vertical and horizontal dimensions of praise, believers can cultivate a holistic and authentic expression of their faith, bringing glory to God and blessings to humanity. These scriptures provide a foundation for the understanding of praising God and the various ways believers express their devotion and adoration.

 

Attributes of Praising God:

  1. Adoration: Praising God involves exalting His name and character. It’s about recognizing and celebrating His perfection, holiness, and glory.
 
  • Psalm 145:3 – “Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.”
 
  • Revelation 4:11 – “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”
 
  1. Gratitude: Gratitude is a central element of praising God. It involves acknowledging His blessings, provisions, and mercies bestowed upon individuals and communities.
 
  • Psalm 100:4 – “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.”
 
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:18 – “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
 
  1. Surrender: Praising God often involves surrendering one’s will and desires to His divine authority. It’s an act of submission and trust in His wisdom and guidance.
 
  • Psalm 37:5 – “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:”
 
  • Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
 
  1. Celebration: Praising God is also about celebrating His works and deeds. It’s rejoicing in His creation, salvation, and redemptive acts throughout history.
 
  • Psalm 96:11-12 – “Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.”
 
  • Luke 15:10 – “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Types of Ways to Praise God:

Praising God can take many forms, ranging from individual acts of devotion to communal expressions of worship. Here are some common ways people praise God:

 

1. Prayer: Prayer is a vital avenue for praising God. It allows believers to communicate with the divine, express their gratitude, and seek His guidance and intervention in their lives. 

 

  • Philippians 4:6 – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
 
  • Matthew 6:6 – “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
 
2. Worship: Worship involves honoring God through music, singing, and other forms of artistic expression. It’s a powerful way to engage the heart and soul in praising God’s greatness.
 
  • Psalm 95:1-2 – “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.”
 
  • John 4:23-24 – “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
 
3. Service: Serving others in love and compassion is a form of praising God. It’s about embodying His teachings and reflecting His character through acts of kindness and generosity.
 
  • Matthew 25:40 – “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
 
  • Galatians 5:13 – “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”
 
4. Study: Engaging in the study of sacred texts and teachings is a way to praise God. It involves seeking wisdom, understanding, and spiritual enlightenment from His word.
 
  • Psalm 119:105 – “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”
 
  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17 – “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
 
5. Sacrifice: Sacrificing one’s time, resources, and desires for the greater good is a form of praising God. It demonstrates devotion and obedience to His will and commands.
 
  • Romans 12:1 – “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”
 
  • Hebrews 13:16 – “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”


Vertical and Horizontal Praise:

Vertical and horizontal praise are two dimensions of worship that reflect the relationship between individuals and God, as well as their relationships with others.


Vertical Praise:

Vertical praise refers to the upward orientation of worship towards God. It’s the direct communication and adoration between the individual and the divine. Vertical praise focuses on exalting God’s name, seeking His presence, and aligning one’s heart and will with His.


Certainly! Vertical praise, which involves the direct communication and adoration between the individual and God, is supported by numerous scriptures in the Christian Bible. Here are some examples:


  • Psalm 95:1-7 (NIV): “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.”
 
  • Psalm 150:1-6 (NIV): “Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.”
 
  • Psalm 34:1 (NIV): “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.”
 
  • Psalm 103:1-2 (NIV): “Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—”
 
  • Isaiah 25:1 (NIV): “Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.”
 
  • Philippians 4:4 (NIV): “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”
 
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV): “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
 

These scriptures emphasize the importance of praising God directly, expressing gratitude, adoration, and reverence towards Him. They encourage believers to worship God with joy, thanksgiving, and an acknowledgment of His greatness, faithfulness, and sovereignty.


Horizontal Praise:

Horizontal praise, on the other hand, involves the outward expression of worship towards others. It’s about how believers interact with and serve their fellow human beings in a manner that reflects their reverence for God. Horizontal praise encompasses acts of love, kindness, and compassion towards neighbors, strangers, and even enemies.

Horizontal praise, which involves the outward expression of worship towards others, is also emphasized in various scriptures in the Christian Bible. Here are some examples:


  • Matthew 5:16 (NIV): “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
 
  • Galatians 5:13-14 (NIV): “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
 
  • James 2:15-17 (NIV): “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
 
  • 1 John 3:17-18 (NIV): “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”
 
  • Matthew 25:34-40 (NIV): “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
 
  • Ephesians 4:32 (NIV): “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
 
  • Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV): “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
 

These scriptures highlight the importance of loving and serving others as a form of worship to God. They emphasize the need for believers to demonstrate their faith through actions of compassion, kindness, generosity, and service towards their fellow human beings.


Conclusion:

Praising God is a profound spiritual practice that enriches the lives of believers and strengthens their connection to the divine. It’s a dynamic and transformative process that encompasses various forms of worship, adoration, and service. Whether through prayer, worship, or acts of kindness, praising God fosters a deeper understanding of His love, mercy, and grace. By embracing both vertical and horizontal dimensions of praise, believers can cultivate a holistic and authentic expression of their faith, bringing glory to God and blessings to humanity.

These scriptures provide a foundation for the understanding of praising God and the various ways believers express their devotion and adoration.

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