Why Does God Need Our Praise?


Why is God always telling us to praise him?  Scripture seems to be full of this command… God saying “praise me. Worship me. Glorify me.”  Sometimes it almost seems as if God is saying “Look, I am awesome. You know it. I know it… And what I want most is for you to tell me about myself over and over again.”

Is God so insecure that he needs us to kiss up to him?

In his book, Reflections On The Psalms, C.S. Lewis wrestles with the same question.

Lewis says he used to view this seemingly constant need for praise like God was a vain woman wanting compliments.  But one day he realized this one simple fact: “All enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise.”  He says that praise is the natural outcome of enjoyment.

It is the healthy response of humans to do this.. We do this all the time when we take pictures of a beautiful sunset, or recommend a favorite author, express the beauty found in our spouse, go on and on about a great movie, or ask “did you see that game?”

When we are happy about something, when we have great news, when we are in awe of unique beauty, we just need to “get it out,” right?

Praise is the natural result of enjoyment.

I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed.
-C.S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms

Lewis says, “Praise almost seems to be inner health made audible.”

So, it seems that it isn’t God that needs our praise.  We humans need to praise.

The Scotch catechism says that man’s chief end is “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever”. Lewis suggests that these are the same thing. To fully enjoy is to glorify. In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him.  So, how are you enjoying Him today?

Comments 1

  1. Paul & Brenda Willard

    Steve, we are so thankful for you and blessed by the fact that you so often bring us new perspectives on ideas that we have become so accustomed to that we take them for granted. We continue to pray for your wisdom, strength and discernment as you lead us.

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