Psalm 34:1-3, Amplified Bible (AMP)
1 I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My life makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble and afflicted hear and be glad.
3 O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.
This is another excellent scripture not only for congregations but for praise and worship leaders who are passionate about setting an atmosphere of unified praise to God in church services.
Praise Leaders Bless God Continually
What does continually mean? Some pull out this verse during church services as if it only means the first 15 minutes of service. Even then, praise teams and congregations alike find it hard to keep the focus on blessing (worshiping and pleasing) God. However, this scripture wasn’t written for a praise and worship team. David penned this, most likely alone, after escaping from a king that he was afraid of. David made a decision in his will to bless God ALL the time, not just in church. Remember, that in the eyes of others you don’t stop being a praise leader when you are not before the congregation. You’re words AND your actions should continuously exemplify a life that is pleasing to God.
Praise Leaders Brag About God
The amplified version reads “My life makes its boast in the Lord” (other versions read “My soul”). Once again, your entire being, including your mind; will; and emotions, should boast concerning God. Let’s be honest. No one likes a bragger. However, if you brag about someone else you won’t be viewed as conceited. Various scriptures caution against boasting in your self, but we CAN boast in all that God has done and who He is in our life. Even if we don’t brag with our words, it shows if we “minister” with a showy attitude or if we are constantly looking for the approval and praise of others in the church. When we brag about God rather than ourselves, people can easily respond in gladness, preparing their hearts to worship God.
Praise Leaders Encourage Others to JOIN Them in Worship
I’ve been to many services that this scripture is used to encourage the congregation to praise and worship God, meanwhile it doesn’t appear that their is much “prase & worship” going on on “stage.” Of course, when that happens I have learned to try to tune the drill sergeant, um… I mean, “praise leader” out and try to get in state of worship on my own. When a praise team demonstrates praise and worship to God, it is much easier for humble worshippers to join in. The key words here are “with me,” “us,” and “together.”
Take the Focus OFF of the Congregation
I like this Psalm because it helps to remind us that, while we want to create an environment of praise and worship, we do this best when WE are praising and worshipping. I’ve told church ensembles to almost forget the congregation. If we allow ourselves to get lost in worship then others can follow our example. Those that know how to worship will gladly follow, those that don’t know how will have an example to follow, and those that don’t yet have a desire will be in awe and should, in time, come to a place of desiring and blessing the God that has blessed you.