Words by Thomas Ken, 1674
Music by Louis Bourgeois, 1551
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.
My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.
Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
At the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:10 – 11
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
2 Corinthians 1:3
we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh,
One of the biggest challenges that I find in writing or speaking is getting started. How do you grab peoples attention? How do you lead into what you want to talk about? Ultimately the question is “How do I begin?”
So it can be when we sing praises to God. Where do we begin? Almighty! Victorious! Worthy! Savior! I can go on and on, for there is so much that can be said. This passion and truth is presented to us in a simple four line stanza, that may be the most commonly used hymn throughout Christendom, “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow” more commonly known as the “Doxology.”
Now the first thing to understand is that these words that have become so familiar with the church today make up the final stanza of a much longer hymn known as “Awake, My Soul, And With The Sun.”
But as we look at these words that have stood the test of time, we are drawn in to worship God in all His glory. The first line reads, ” Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow.” Thomas Ken begins by answering a question that we here so often, a question that we may sometimes find ourselves asking. “Why should I worship God?” Both those who feel they have nothing and those who feel they have earned all they have will ask, “What has He done for me?”
But the Bible has answered this question. James writes in chapter 1 verse 7, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father. . .” So Ken writes in response to the worlds question, “Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow.”
Simply put, God is worthy to be praised. But we are not alone in declaring His praises. It is so easy for us to center our focus on ourselves, and amazingly when it comes to praising God we are no different. Each of us may begin to see that it is “our” job to worship God. And while this is true, it is not us alone. Not only is the call upon all the people in the world to declare His praise but it is the purpose of all creation.
Ken writes, ” Praise Him, all creatures here below.” Yes everything on the earth is called to praise Him. This theme occurs again and again through the Psalms. In Psalm 150 verse 6 we read, “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.” And again in Psalm 145:21 we read, “. . . Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.”
And still beyond this world the praises ring. Ken now writes, “Praise Him above, ye heavenly host.” Yes, it is all of creation that praises Him, Not only those in the world, but also those who sit in the heavenly realms. Psalm 148:2 tells this when we read, “Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his heavenly hosts.”
And finally, this universal praise of God is shown to us in its ultimate culmination when we read in Philippians 2:10 – 11 that “At the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Yes, we have been called to praise God. We need not worry about how we begin, simply that we do. When understand our call to sing His praises, then we truly will be able to ” Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”
Read more about the “Doxology.”