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Praise Foundations

Here’s Why Tehillah Praise is the New Song God Desires

Your willing sacrifice of praise is a desire of the God who made you. In fact, you were created to worship! (Isaiah 43:21) More specifically, in Isaiah 43:21, the Word of God says that you were created to “tehillah” the Lord.

There are seven Hebrew words used in the Old Testament for the English word “praise”. Under the Old Covenant, God established His due order for what worship and praise would be, noting that it was always meant to reflect a heart of gratitude, not fear or force. 

God doesn’t “require” praise, and He doesn’t need anyone’s praise to be God, but He does desire it. Why? Because praise invites God’s presence through your willing sacrifice of thanksgiving. (Psalm 100:4) The Lord does not force Himself on anyone. He always waits to be invited.

The Lord does not force Himself on anyone. He always waits to be invited.

~Alicia Purdy

God has designed an array of praise and worship for His people to draw near and each of the 7 Hebrew ‘praise’ words in the Bible is necessarydesired, and filled with power to keep you connected to God’s Holy Spirit.

Each form of praise in the Bible has a distinct use, a distinct purpose, and a distinct expression.  

person atop a mountain at sunset

What is “Tehillah” Praise?

The Hebrew word tehillah is used in the context of a “new song” to the Lord – a spontaneous, new song that is the language of praise you sing to the Lord about what He has done for you, specifically. There are numerous attributes of God that you have seen in your own faith journey and throughout your life – and He delights in hearing you sing with thanksgiving about them!

Tehillah” praise is personal to God, and throughout the Old Testament, numerous writers refer to tehillah as belonging to the Lord, and God, Himself, refers to tehillah as “Mine”. (Isaiah 42:8) Why? Because tehillah is your testimony. 

Deuteronomy 10:21 says, “[The Lord] is your praise, and He is your God, who has done for you these great and fearsome things which your eyes have seen.”

Tehillah is your testimony.

~ Alicia Purdy ~

The type of ‘praise’ Moses spoke of to God’s people is tehillah – and he told them that GOD IS your tehillah – based on the “great and fearsome things which your eyes have seen.” You have many unique testimonies of what the Lord has done for you, too, and as you sing them to him, in unrehearsed songs from your grateful heart, the Lord uniquely inhabits that praise! (Psalm 22:3)

Singing tehillah to the Lord doesn’t require any of the right words. Nothing needs to rhyme or be sung in public or from the stage at church. Sometimes people do those things, but your tehillah praise is between you and the Lord. Tehillah is personal. Tehillah is intimate. Tehillah is unique. Tehillah is beautiful to the Lord because tehillah is written by you.

more of Him less of me quote

What is an Example of Tehillah Praise?

The book of Psalms is entirely a book of “Tehillah” to the Lord written by God’s people before, during, and after the different seasons of the lives. Praising the Lord is always the right response in any season because, even when life gets bad, God is always good.

Specifically, Psalm 145 is called, “A Psalm of Tehillah“. Elsewhere, tehillah is shown in the Old Testament and in the New Testament as a way that God’s people praised Him with their personal testimonies:

  • After the Lord rescued the Hebrews and brought them through the Red Sea, Moses and the people sang a tehillah to the Lord. Then, Miriam also sang a tehillah. (Exodus 15)
  • When Mary, the mother of Jesus, visited Elizabeth, she sang a tehillah to the Lord after being told she would divinely conceive and give birth to the Messiah. (Luke 2)
  • When King Jehoshaphat and the kingdom of Judah were facing an insurmountable pagan army, they began to sing tehillah to the Lord and testify of His mighty deeds, the Lord set an ambush for the wicked kings and they were destroyed. (2 Chronicles 20:15-22)

Tehillah is your testimony. It will look different day to day, season to season, and even moment as God moves in you, through you and around you. As you lift up His holy name and sing with gratitude from your own experiences to the glory of the Lord – that is tehillah!

Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs

In the Old Testament, a distinction is made between the seven Hebrew words of praise and the word “worship”. In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul added another layer of depth when he wrote:

 “…be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another in psalmshymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. Give thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Ephesians 5:18-20, MEV)

  • The “Psalms” Paul wrote of were understood by the early Christians to be those songs based clearly and exclusively on the book of Psalms or other songs from other writers in the Bible, such as Deborah or Moses. 
  • “Hymns” are songs written from or about the Word of God with a clear connection to the words of Scripture.
  • The term “spiritual songs” Paul used originates from the Hebrew word for praise, “tehillah”, which is also translated as a “new song”. 

A “new song” according to the examples in the Bible is:

  • Unique and personal to you.
  • A “spiritual song” you spontaneously write from your spirit and sing to the Lord
  • A weapon of spiritual protection and warfare
  • A testimony that others hear and put their trust in the Lord

Singing the Psalms, offering a hymn of praise written by another person, “making melody in your heart to the Lord”, and offering a spontaneous song of tehillah in your praise with musical instruments or without, in church or at home or in your car or on your knees or with your fists clenched or tears in your eyes – it is all important, desired, and powerful in the spirit. 

black and white mountains

You are the Worship Leader God Desires to Praise Him

In the Old Covenant, only priests could offer sacrifices to the Lord and only the priests could enter into the presence of God and minister to Him because sin had created a chasm that only one sacrifice could close – God’s Son, Jesus Christ. 

Under the New Covenant, Peter wrote:

“…you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9, MEV) 

Revelation 1:6 says, through Christ Jesus, all believers are, “kings and priests to His God and Father…” (MEV)

There is so much more to praise and worship than what happens on a Sunday morning! Worship and praise are part of the foundation you built your life of faith upon. The life of faith is a “cord of three strands”:

  • The Living Word of God
  • The Power of Prayer
  • The Worship and Praise of the Lord Most High

No worship leader on a Sunday morning could ever give God more on your behalf than you can, or offer up better forms of praise with all their skills and stringed instruments and charisma than you can, because what you have to offer in praise is unique to you. 

That is what God desires in praise: The willing sacrifice of thanksgiving from you, specifically.

So many true believers don’t fully understand how Tehillah is expressed in the Bible, the way Tehillah praise is used by worshippers, or how to offer the Lord Tehillah praise as an act of adoration in personal or public times of worship. Many struggle with being self-conscious or worry that it isn’t pleasing to God.

Learn more about the 7 Hebrew Words for Praise and how each one helps create strength, intimacy, and fresh revelation as you understand more about God’s plan for praise in your life!

Psalm 40:3 (NKJV) says, “He has put a new song in my mouth—Praise (TEHILLAH) to our God; Many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.”

Your songs of tehillah praise to the Lord are your testimony of Him. Tehillah has nothing to do with the experiences of life and everything to do with the experience you have with true and living God.

Tehillah has nothing to do with the experiences of life and everything to do with the experience you have with true and living God.

~ Alicia Purdy

Remember – a willing sacrifice of praise is offering to the Lord something that doesn’t want to die! It is okay that your flesh fights you, just don’t let it win! Your song of praise to the Lord is what the enemy wants to steal because he knows its true power to transform lives! 

The more you deny yourself and crucify your flesh as a sacrifice of praise to God, the less the power the enemy has over you.

How Can Your Tehillah Praise be the New Song God Desires?

When you sing your own song to the Lord, a spontaneous new song that is written from your heart from your testimonies, your experiences with the Lord, from your gratitude, from your faith, and from your love for Him, that is the greatest form of praise and the presence of the Lord dwells there with you.

Psalm 22:3 says, “O Lord, You are holy, O You who inhabits the praises of Israel.” (MEV) 

When you offer a new song to the Lord, you are creating a spiritual atmosphere that invites Him to abide with you – and His presence is what you need in order to walk in victory in your life! Praise invites the power and presence of God to move in a new way. 

hands reaching up in prayer

What Makes Tehillah a Weapon of Spiritual Warfare?

Music is inherently spiritual – even the world knows that. Music changes the mood. Music can make you happy or sad or depressed or evoke a memory or inspire you. Your Adversary the devil knows very well the power of music and he has infiltrated the church by twisting, redefining, and abusing God’s definition and purpose of praise and worship.

The result is that many believers don’t understand or apply God’s principles of praise to their lives. They lack knowledge for how to use the spiritual weapon of praise and worship to overcome the enemy. 

Many Christians sing songs – even in church- that aren’t worship or praise and then they wonder why the vital dynamic of God’s power is missing from their lives.

Your Adversary the devil knows very well the power of music and he has infiltrated the church by twisting, redefining, and abusing God’s definition and purpose of praise and worship.

~Alicia Purdy

It is necessary to be part of a fellowship of believers, the Bible is clear, but corporate worship services aren’t enough to sustain your faith anyway, especially when the enemy comes in like a flood. Within “Tehillah” the Spirit of God dwells with your spirit in a more dynamic way because the words are your own.

Revelation 12:11 says that the people of God overcome the enemy “…by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.

The following Scriptures are just a few to show you how the Tehillah type of praise is a weapon of spiritual warfare:

  • Isaiah 61:3 – Tehillah is a “garment of praise” given to you to cover yourself, and to battle and release yourself from the demonic “spirit of heaviness.”
  • Psalm 40:3 – King David wrote that “tehillah” is a supernatural witness of God’s power through your testimony that “many will see” and “will put their trust in the Lord.”
  • 2 Chronicles 20:21-22 – “Tehillah” brings the Lord’s authority into the battle. “…those praising the Lord went before those equipped for battle saying, “Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever.” [and] When they began singing and praising (TEHILLAH), the Lord set ambushes against Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were defeated.”
  • Psalm 48:10 – Every name of the Lord given to you in God’s Word is fully in effect and filled with capable, supernatural power for your situation. “…according to the name of the Lord, so is His praise (TEHILLAH)…”
  • Psalm 100:4 – Your tehillah opens the spiritual realm and allows you greater access to God’s presence. “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: (TEHILLAH) be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.

Why Your Tehillah Praise Belongs to God

The Lord is possessive about your tehillah because it is unique to you. Tehillah is your testimony sung in gratitude to the Lord – but there’s more to it than that.

  • In Isaiah 42:8 the Lord said praise belongs to Him above any other ‘god’ or created thing: “…My glory I will not give to another and My praise (TEHILLAH) will not be given to idols…”
  • Tehillah praise is a sign of your faith in the Lord, according to Psalm 106:2, “…they believed His words so they sang His praise (TEHILLAH)…” 
  • You were created for Tehillah: Isaiah 43:21 – “This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise (TEHILLAH).”
  • Your Tehillah is a sign of your submission to the Lord, “My lips shall utter praise, (TEHILLAH) when Thou hast taught me Thy statutes.” (Psalm 119:171)
  • God, Himself, IS Tehillah: “[The Lord your God] is your praise, and He is your God, who has done for you these great and fearsome things which your eyes have seen.” (Deut. 10:21, MEV)

God IS Tehillah” because His miracles for you are what you’re singing about! God doesn’t bring peace, He IS Peace. He doesn’t send healing, He IS Healing. God doesn’t share His love, He IS Love. God IS a rock, a strong tower. He IS righteousness. God IS a “man of war” (Exodus 15:3). These are not titles of God – they are His perpetual state of existence and being

Thanksgiving opens the gates of God’s presence where you can enter with your tehillah into His dwelling place- and that is where the true power of praise is seen – in you, for you, through you, in spite of you, and around you – because you worship a God who is worthy.

Every time you spend time singing a “new song” to the Lord, a “Tehillah” praise to Him, you’re writing a brand new song in that moment. It may sound intimidating, but it is a Biblical form of praise God desires. Remember, of all the 7 types of praise shown in the Scriptures, tehillah is the only form of praise the Lord refers to as “Mine”. 

 If you’re thankful for what He has done for you, you’ll never run out of things to say in your praise because God is always working! There is always something to praise Him for! Tehillah is an intimate form of worship that will always be new because God is always doing a new thing. (Isaiah 43:19)

It’s great to sing praise and worship at church, but those songs were written by someone else! “Tehillah” praise is exclusively yours and the Lord can’t wait to hear it! In Psalm 34:1 David said that Tehillah” would “continually” be in his mouth.

Stir up your spirit and recall memories of what He has done, specifically for you and then open your mouth and sing songs of praise about it to Him! You’re building a tabernacle of praise to Him with your worship, and in His presence is everything you need to obtain victory in all areas of life. 

How? Because the victory you’ll walk in will first be won within you before you see it anywhere else. 

What new song has the Lord put in your mouth? Will you sing it to Him today?

Stir up your new song! “Partnering in Power with the Names of God in Your Situation”