Dr. Dan Hayden • 

Do you really praise the Lord in your spirit when you sing praise songs? It’s easy to fall into the habit of just singing because you like to sing. But true praise must come from the heart, with or without a song.

In the fourth verse of Psalm 100, it says that God’s people are to “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.” This is probably a reference to the gates and courts of the tabernacle of the Lord, or perhaps the Temple itself. So, what does it mean that we should enter His courts “with praise?”

This word “praise” means more than simply singing or saying the words, “praise the Lord.” “Praise the Lord” can roll off our tongues without a lot of true praise in it. The Hebrew word here is tehillah, and is usually translated by words like “praise” or “song of praise,” or “hymn.” In fact the title for the entire Book of Psalms is a form of this word. Tehelim – “Psalms of Praise.”


Actually, this word come from the root verb, halal, which means “to be clear or to shine.” Hence – “to make a show; to boast; to rave or celebrate.”

It’s from this word that we get the word, “Hallelujah.” Halal, is to boast or praise, and “jah” is the shortened form of “Jehovah.” Hence, “Hallelujah” means to boast about Jehovah—to praise Jehovah. Now if you are going to “enter His courts with praise,” you have to do it with a lot more than just words. Your heart has to be in it!

Say—the next time you sing a praise song—really praise the Lord!