Pride is not the only thing that can keep us from praising God. An untrue heart can squelch both the desire and the ability to develop a life of praise. An untrue heart is a heart that is insincere, hypocritical, or filled with doubt. The writer of Hebrews said:

[L]et us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:22)

There are some people who try to honor God with their lips while their hearts are full of anger, bitterness, or envy. However, God knows the status of our hearts and our weaknesses.

We cannot develop a life of praise alone or in our own strength. Instead, we must surrender our intellect, feelings, and will to the Lord. As we do this, God will empower us to develop a habit of praising Him—regardless of our circumstances.

In Genesis 22, when God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, He was asking him to surrender the object of his love. He was asking Abraham to give up something that meant more to him than anything else.

Did God want Abraham to sacrifice Isaac? No. God wanted to be certain that Abraham was willing to surrender everything to Him. Like Abraham, God wants us to surrender to Him. He wants us to praise Him. Praise is a sacrifice that costs us our pride, our plans, and our desires. True praise requires that we place everything on the altar for the Lord.

Don’t let pride or an untrue heart keep you from a life of praise. Yield to the Lord, come before Him in humility, and God will give you His strength and power to live a victorious life.

Prayer: Lord, search my heart and show me where there is doubt or insincerity. Wash over me and purify those places. May my praise be genuine and true, for that is what You deserve. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!” (Psalm 66:20).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon Empowered by Praise, Part 3: LISTEN NOW

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.


Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.


The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.


He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.



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