Psalm 150 1 Praise the Lord! Praise God in his Temple. Praise him in his mighty heaven. 2 Praise him for his strength. Praise him for his greatness. 3 Praise him with trumpet blasts. Praise him with harps and lyres. 4 Praise him with tambourines and dancing. Praise him with stringed instruments and flutes. 5 Praise him with loud cymbals. Praise him with crashing cymbals. 6 Let everything that breathes praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!
Praise: An expression of approval or commendation
After the thanksgiving part of the service, it’s time to enter His courts with praise. Praise is an expression that shows we appreciate God for who He is and what He does. It requires action to express it. We can be thankful to God silently, but to praise God we have to do something.
Praise Primers: One way to help children with praise is to give a praise primer each week before praise time. A praise primer is an object lesson dealing with praise – what it is and why we should praise. You can look in your local Christian book store for object lesson resources John Tasch Ministries also has an excellent resource DVD of Praise Primers at this link.
Praise Words: There are many different Hebrew words for praise in the Old Testament. Each word denotes a different expression of praise. Teach the children a different word every week and encourage them to express their praise using these methods. I’ve listed some of the words, where they are found, and their definitions.
- Tehillah (pronounced tehela) To sing our praise to God with all our hearts. Psalm 35:28
- Zamar (pronounced zamar) To use instruments to show praise. Psalm 57:7
- Shabach (pronounced shabak) To shout. Psalm 145:4
- Halal (pronounced halal) To celebrate, go mad over, or to be clamourously foolish. Similar to a celebration at a sporting event. Psalm 150:2
- Machowl (pronounced machowil) To turn, skip, move around, lift the feet in dance. Psalm 150:4
- Towdah (pronounced toda) To extend the hands in acceptance or agreement with God’s words and promises before you see the answer. Psalm 42:4
- Yadah (pronounced yada) To lift the hand in praise. Psalm 28:7
- Sachaq (pronounced sawqua) To laugh. Proverbs 8:30
- Guwl (pronounced gool) To dance or spin. Psalm 118:24
- Alats (pronounced awlais) To let out a battle cry. Psalm 68:3
Songs: Songs are a very important part of praise in Scripture and should be given a place of prominence in your Children’s Service. Songs used during praise time should express praise. Encourage the children to stand and participate by expressing themselves from the heart during praise songs. Make sure the songs don’t have too many words and that you don’t introduce too many new songs in one week. You want the children to concentrate more on praising God than learning words.
Motions and Sign Language: Motions are an important part of singing praise songs to God because children love to do things with their hands. What better thing could they do than express their praise to God. You can create your own motion or buy Children’s ministry DVD’s with the motions to the songs. One thing I love to do is to teach children sign language to the most important words in the song. Children love to do this. It’s easy to learn. Just go to the library or buy a book on religious signing.
Drama and Expressive Arts: Expression is an important part of praise. If your children’s ministry doesn’t have children’s team for drama, banners, dance, creative movement, or signing, consider starting one.
If you have a great resource for praise expression, please list it under comments. The next blog will focus on leading children into worship.