Christian Praise is mentioned approximately 190 times in the Bible depending on which version you are reading. It is very common to hear the phrase “Hallelujah” both in Christian circles as well as non-christian circles.
What does “hallelujah” mean?
Oftentimes it is also written as Allelujah. The angels themselves sing hallelujah to God, so what does it mean?
Actually as a direct translation from the Hebrew it means Praise (Hallel) God (jah, also known as Jaweh in the Old Testament. So, when we say “Hallelujah” What we are really saying is “Praise God”. This is a good thing in a sense because we are told to praise God, but if we just say it as an exclamation to something good that has happened then it might lose its flavor, so to speak. This is obviously the case with non-Christians saying it when trivial things such as their favorite hockey team scores a goal for the home team. If we are truly happy that God has allowed things to happen then it is not derogatory in any way but I just want to point out that it is something that should be used with meaning.
Christian Praise is more than just a matter of words, it is a life-style. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 it says “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God concerning you”.
There are 2 specific points that I would like to bring out in this passage.
- It is God’s will that you give thanks in everything
- It is God’s will that you give thanks IN everything, not necessarily FOR everything.
God wants us to praise Him no matter what our circumstances are because he wants us to realize that wherever we are, He is there with us. He wants us to relinquish the control of our lives to Him and trust Him to work all things out together for our good.
So remember, the next time you are in despair and don’t feel like praising God, do it anyway! Hallelujah!
(see our article “Out of the Mouth of Babes” to see an example of praising God in spite of our circumstances)