Maybe you’ve heard the story of the man who was trying to teach his horse to obey and to stop and start on command. Being a very religious man, he came up with a couple of religious statements to use in training his horse. He trained the horse to go forward when he said, “Praise the Lord!” He also trained the horse to stop when he said, “Hallelujah!”

One day while riding the horse got spooked and took off running. The man lost control of the horse and forgot the religious words he taught the horse. The horse had been trained to go forward only when the man said “Praise the Lord” and to stop only when he said, “Hallelujah!”

Up ahead was a cliff, and the horse was headed there full speed. The man tried thinking of every religious word he’d ever heard of. He shouted, “Amen! Jesus saves! Worthy is the lamb! Holy is our God!” But nothing worked.

Just as the horse approached the edge of the cliff, the man shouted out, “Hallelujah!” The horse stopped on a dime, right there on the edge. The man then wiped his head and said, “Whew, Praise the Lord!”

Here’s the point: Praising the Lord is not some kind of casual meaningless activity. Not only is praising the Lord scriptural, it is also purposeful and powerful.

“Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens!
Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his excellent greatness!

Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with sounding cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!”

– Psalm 150:1-6 ESV

In Christ,
Jonathan Anderson