How should we think about praise? The first thing to note is that, according to Scripture, praising God normally has two faces or aspects to it: we can praise God to God and we can praise God to others. In this sense, a parallel exists with the way we can praise one another. For example, I can praise my wife by telling herhow wonderful she is, or I can praise her by telling you how wonderful she is.
The second thing to note is that praising God doesn’t always have to take the form of singing. Indeed, it would be a mistake, biblically speaking, to equate praise with singing. Whilst praise normally involves words, everything we do should be for the glory and praise of God (1 Cor 10:31; Phil 1:11).
But, thirdly, there’s likewise no escaping the fact that singing is a vital form of praise. Many Scriptures (particularly many of the Psalms) bear this out. Not only do they link praise directly with singing, but they frequently speak of the two faces of praise in virtually the same breath, often sliding from one to the other with barely so much as a gear change! Consider, for example, the opening verses of Psalm 96: