hands raised in praise to Jesus
The Worship Lifestyle

A Forever Hallelujah! HALAL Praise in the Bible Still Sings!

Singing hallelujah is a commonly-used way to praise the Lord across the entire globe. In every nation, within languages, and among communities, singing ‘hallelujah’ is a unifying and powerful way to lift high the Lord in praise, and to declare His greatness “among the people”. (Psalm 109:30)

Throughout the Old Testament, the word hallelujah is sung, shouted, and said in response to Gods mighty acts- and it is no different today! The Biblical formula of praise is a willing sacrifice of thanksgiving offered in ministry to the Lord, and hallelujah is the expression of confession God’s people shout in their agreement with His Word, and in acknowledging His wonders.

What Does the Bible Say About Hallelujah Praise?

The word hallelujah is a compound word made from two other Hebrew words: HALAL, meaning “to boast in glory and praise, to shine and celebrate”, and YAH – in reference to the Lord as a short form of, “Yahweh”. Meaning: PRAISE THE LORD!

Halal” is one of the 7 Hebrew words used in the English language for the word “praise”, but it has its own very profound meaning and special uses in the Bible for specific times and seasons in praise and worship. Just like the other Hebrew words for “praise”, “halal” is part of the larger array of praise words God has given His people as part of a complete picture of praising Him.

In the book of Psalms, Psalm 150 is the most famous of the “hallelujah” psalms, often called a Psalm of “Halals” for the extraordinary usage that conveys a very specific message to the worshipper – PRAISE THE LORD!

  • Praise (HALAL) the Lord! 
  • (HALAL) Praise God in His sanctuary
  • (HALAL) praise Him in the firmament of His power!
  • (HALAL) Praise Him for His mighty acts; praise Him according to His excellent greatness!
  • (HALAL) Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet;
  • (HALAL) Praise Him with the lyre and harp!
  • (HALAL) Praise Him with the tambourine and dancing;
  • (HALAL) Praise Him with stringed instruments and flute!
  • (HALAL) Praise Him with loud cymbals
  • (HALAL) Praise Him with the clanging cymbals!
  • Let everything that has breath (HALAL) praise the Lord. 
  • (HALAL) Praise the Lord!

Psalm 18:3 shows that “HALAL” is a prophetic way to praise the Lord, in faith:

“I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: (HALAL) so shall I be saved from my enemies.”

When you halal the Lord, you are coming into agreement with His Word, celebrating what He has done, and proclaiming your faith for what you know He will do. 

  • Psalm 56:4 affirms agreement with God’s Word as a foundational praise principle saying, “In God whose word I praise (HALAL), in God I have trusted; I will not fear. What can mere flesh do to me?”
  • Psalm 119:164 shows that “HALAL” praise is an integral and significant part of the songs of praise God’s people sing to Him saying, “Seven times a day I praise (HALAL) You, because of Your righteous judgments.” 

There is always a reason to praise the Lord whether with a loud voice of a great multitude or alone by yourself as part of your daily commitment to giving God the glory. However, it looks for you, the word hallelujah is a call for all believers to PRAISE THE LORD!

a small sunflower

Is it Biblical to Shout Hallelujah?

The literal word “hallelujah” is not found in the original Hebrew text, however, it is frequently used in context as “HALAL” (boast in, celebrate) + “YAH” (Yahweh) so the meaning is clear: PRAISE THE LORD! Jesus Christ is worthy to be praised! The name of the LORD, the great King above all Gods is worthy to be praised! The Holy Spirit of God is worthy to be praised!

Scripturally speaking, it is not “wrong” to shout “hallelujah!” at all! In fact, it’s shown throughout the Old Testament that shouting and singing is exactly how halal praise is expressed!

Other times halal praise is put to specific music, which is an integral part of the Psalm being used in praises. Other times halal is sung in the midst of many people.

Other times, halal is used along with specific instruments as noted in Psalm 150:

  • with the sound of the trumpet;
  • with the lyre and harp
  • with the tambourine and dancing;
  • with stringed instruments and flute
  • with loud cymbals
  • with the clanging cymbals

Many of these ways that halal praise is shown in the Scriptures are the foundation of how praise to the Lord in churches services today still use “hallelujah”. Is singing “hallelujah” still relevant in praise and worship today? Absolutely

Think of it this way: As long as God is alive, so too is every, single Word He has spoken alive too! (Matthew 24:35)

As long as God is alive, so too is every, single Word He has spoken alive too!

~Alicia Purdy~

That means, it is always appropriate to incorporate a “hallelujah” into your hymns of praise and worship both in singing and in shouting because the Biblical pattern has been established by God. 

PRAISE THE LORD! (HALAL + YA!)

hands raised in praise

What is the Purpose of Halal Praise in the Bible?

The primary reason God is celebrated and boasted of, and proclaimed about with the word of praise “Hallelujah” is in response to His mighty acts. In fact, the natural response for all believers to who God is, and what God has done, and (in faith), what God will do – is praise and worship. Gratitude is the point of origin for all praise!

Halal praise is predominately shown in the Bible is as a glorious outpouring of praise to the Lord among many people in a loud, clamorous worship and praise gatherings. One of the primary purposes of all praise is boasting and celebrating the TESTIMONY of God’s power and actions to other people – and that is exactly how halal praise is shown in context.

Think of it this way: His help deserves your HALAL.

His help deserves your HALAL.

~ Alicia Purdy ~

There are many reasons why people in the Christian faith sing and shout hallelujah as an exclamation of praise to the Lord, according to the Biblical language of the Scriptures. 

  • Praise and worship belong to the King of Kings. (Isaiah 42:8) 
  • Praise and worship keep the people of God from slipping into idolatry. (Deuteronomy 4:15-19) 
  • Singing ‘hallelujah’ to praise the Lord helps keep your eyes fixed on the Lord as you follow His statues and judgements in your life. (Psalm 105:3)
  • The worship of God serves as a perpetual remembrance of who God is and what He has done. (Psalm 145:4-6)
  • Singing and shouting the high praises of Christ Jesus with hallelujah (HALAL + YA!) is a spiritual weapon of warfare that the Bible calls a two-edged “sharp sword.” (Psalm 149:6-9)
  • Hallelujah (HALAL + YA!) is used as you testify, singing and shouting the praise of God for “great and mighty things which your eyes have seen“. (Deuteronomy 10:21)

In Jeremiah 9:24, the Lord spoke about the real reason behind halal praise:

“…but let him who glories (HALAL) glory (HALAL) in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, says the Lord.”

The true purpose behind your hallelujah (HALAL + YA!) praise is that you know the Lord, that the name of God belongs to you as His beloved son or daughter, that you have an understanding of God’s righteous victory, and His nature and character through your faith in Christ Jesus.

This is the same sentiment David expressed when he cried to the Lord, “… restore unto me the joy of my salvation!” in Psalm 51. The shouts and songs of halal praise are rooted in thanksgiving and joy.

quote about worshipping the Lord

When Should “Hallelujah” be Used in Praise and Worship?

Each of the 7 Hebrew Words for “praise” has a specific context in the Bible, and specific uses as well. The word halal has a frequent occurrence in the context of celebration and testimony.

It is an outwardly-focused word for praise and its power in such spiritual songs is seen when your testimony of God’s mighty acts in your life is shared because that causes faith to arise in other believers!

The enemy definitely does NOT want believers to sing and shout ‘hallelujah’! In fact, sometimes church traditions teach that it is “wrong” to sing or shout “Hallelujah!” but the Bible clearly shows that it is not! Agreeing with God’s Word with halal praise, and testifying of His power to each other is a spiritual strategy for victory!

Agreeing with God’s Word with halal praise, and testifying of His power to each other is a spiritual strategy for victory!

~Alicia Purdy

Shouting ‘hallelujah’ together with other believers, unites the spirit of faith among all those who gather together in the name of God to lift Him high through a spiritual agreement of who He is and what He has done.

According to the Bible, here are some examples of halal praise used in context by those who offer up the sacrifice of praise to the Lord:

  • “in the congregation” (Psalm 111:1)
  • “among the nations” (Psalm 117:1)
  • “in the courts of the Lord’s house” (Psalm 116:19)
  • “to all my brethren” (Psalm 22:22)
  • “in ministry to the Lord” (1 Chronicles 16:4)
  • “for the beauty of His holiness” (2 Chronicles 20:21)

There is always a reason to praise the Lord – even if you can’t see it and even if you don’t “feel” like it. You can praise God’s names or His characteristics and attributes, or His nature or sing His Word. You know through the eyes of faith that the Lord is working according to His plan, and His timing – you can trust Him! Praise is an action of FAITH in the Lord when you are in a season of waiting. 

All of the 7 Hebrew words for praise are expressed beyond the heart and soul by the servants of the Lord. In the Holy Bible, they are shown as physical actions, showing that your flesh is the sacrifice of praise God truly wants. (Romans 12:1-2)

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!

Singing a new song to the Lord from your mouth, lifting your hands as a wave offering, kneeling before the Lord in reverence, and clapping with joy are just a few ways the Bible shows praise and worship are physical actions.

Think of it like this: If faith without works is dead (James 2), and love without action is not love (1 Corinthians 13) – what are praise and worship without physical expression?

If your heart is to praise and worship the Lord in the way that He has designed His due order for such ministry to Him, all of the actions seen in the 7 Hebrew words for praise should be part of that expression. If that is challenging to you – there’s your pleasing sacrifice to Him!

Remember, your expressions of praise worship aren’t about you, per se. The Christian church struggles with a misplaced priorities in praise because it has become too “me-focused” when praise and worship are about the Lord.

The Christian church struggles with a misplaced priorities in praise because it has become too “me-focused” when praise and worship are about the Lord.

~ Alicia Purdy

God is faithful to minister to His people in their blessing of Him (Genesis 22:17, MEV), but the focus is ministry to the Lord.

You won’t always dance, sing, kneel, shout, clap, or raise your hands because you “want” to. Sometimes praise is simply a faith action ministering gratitude to the Lord! You raise your hands because it blesses and honors Him. That is the whole point of worship!

new creation in christ

Should All Believers Still “HALAL” the Lord in Praise?

Yes! Halal praise is not just an Old Testament Hebrew word used in Old Testament accounts of praise and worship. Some teach that certain types of praise and worship have waned with the New Covenant and they no longer use such dynamic spiritual weapons in their church services, but it is not Scripturally accurate to do so.

Remember, as long as God is alive, every Word of His is still alive and well too!

Convincing believers that spiritual things are “dead” in this “dispensation” is a strategy of Satan to remove God’s power in your praise – and, sadly, it works! Satan wants to dismantle God’s power in your praise because he uniquely understands that power, and he knows the potential it holds to keep your faith in the Lord strong.

Jesus warned that some teachers would come along and attempt to disconnect the spiritual power of God from praise. In Matthew 15:6-9 (MEV) He said:

“…you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. You hypocrites, Isaiah well prophesied of you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. In vain they do worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.”

Over and over in the New Covenant, all 7 of the Hebrew words for ‘praise’ are affirmed and confirmed as being relevant and necessary for a fullness in how the Lord of Lords is praised by His people. 

In Revelation 19:1-4 (MEV) shows that the word “alleluia” is the Greek form of the word for halal praise, proving that halal specifically is still alive and well in heaven!

“After these things I heard a great sound of many people in heaven, shouting: “Alleluia! (HALAL + YAH) Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! For true and righteous are His judgments… Again they said: “Alleluia! (HALAL + YAH)… The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshipped God who sat on the throne, saying: “Amen! Alleluia!” (HALAL + YAH)

HalaI​ praise is a FOREVER hallelujah!

Praise and worship are spiritual weapons of warfare. You are not a victim of the devil not of this fallen, dark world – even if things are hard right now or if you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death. When the Lord is your Shepherd, He is with you! 

  • Praise invites the presence of God. 
  • Praise keeps your spirit, soul, and mind safe because true praise and worship are ministry to the Lord.
  • Praise is a victory celebration, an act of faith, and an expression of gratitude.

​Worship is God-focused and helps keep your eyes fixed on the Lord instead of on yourself, where the enemy can tempt you to see your life with a “natural” perspective instead of with a spiritual one. 

​The testimony of Jesus Christ is a prophetic act, according to Revelation 19:10 – when you testify of what Christ has done for you, you are speaking prophetically to someone that He will do the same for them. Salvation, healing, restoration, provision, mercy, rescue, a strong tower, a miracle, a word in season and so much more. 

  • Psalm 150:6 says, “…let everything that has breath praise (HALAL) the Lord!” 
  • Revelation 12:11 says, “They overcame him (the Adversary) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” 

Your praise becomes a weapon when you testify in agreement with God’s Word, and when you shout “hallelujah” about what He has done, and who He is. 

HALAL + YA = PRAISE THE LORD!