Soul Songs 3: Inhabit the Praise

In our grade seven history course, we study the founding days of Canada. We learn about Samuel de Champlain, “The Father of New France.” We read about how he and his men faced untamed wilderness and unknowns as they combined exploration, settlement, and a lucrative trade in beaver pelts.

One winter, they chose to remain in frigid Canada rather than return to the comforts of France. Champlain and his men built a wooden building that served as a warehouse and trading post at the present-day location of Quebec City. Then Champlain named it.

He named it “Habitation.”

“Why did he call it that?” my student asked.

“I don’t know,” I answered, but it got me thinking and thinking and thinking.

Because that word “habitation” has a strangely homey, settled feeling. I wonder if Champlain and his men were so hungry for even a taste of home that they did all they could to make this rough wooden building beside the St. Lawrence sound just a bit more comforting.

Animals live in their habitats. We inhabit the houses we call homes. We come in and rest and make ourselves comfortable and become known to all within.

Maybe this is why this Southern Gospel classic by The Collingsworth Family always settles in my soul. Take a look at the words.

Inhabit the Praise

Inhabit the praise, inhabit the glory, inhabit the songs of joy we bring
We lift up our hands, we lift up our voices, we lift up our hearts as an offering
Our worship we raise
And we say,
Lord, inhabit the praise

Lord we bring to you our music in the best way that we know how
And we ask that you would choose it, as a dwelling place right now
We are humbled by Your Presence, yet we boldly face Your throne
And we stand in honest reverence; would You make our hearts Your home?

Inhabit the praise, inhabit the glory, inhabit the songs of joy we bring
We lift up our hands, we lift up our voices, we lift up our hearts as an offering
Our worship we raise
And we say
Lord, inhabit the praise.

So we shout our alleluias, we exalt and we adore
Knowing even as we praise you, You are worthy of so much more

Inhabit the praise, inhabit the glory, inhabit the songs of joy we bring
We lift up our hands, we lift up our voices, we lift up our hearts as an offering
Our worship we raise
And we say
Lord, inhabit the praise.

The phrase “inhabit the praises” comes from Psalm 22:3, “But You are holy, O You that inhabit the praises of Israel.”[1]

How often do I let it sink in that God makes His home in my heart? He comes in, settles in, allows Himself to be known.

I don’t know about you, but it makes me aware of how negligent I am in my praise. When I’m singing, my mind wanders to things completely unrelated to the text: a problem with a student maybe, what Mom made for Sunday lunch perhaps, or the number of things left undone for the next morning.

But it’s not just with our singing that we give praise. The Collingsworth Family brings their music to God, because that is the ministry to which they have been called, but that’s not the only legitimate method of praise. Lydia of the New Testament was a seller of purple. Aquilla and Priscilla were tent makers. Luke was a doctor.

Every time we do what we were created to do we bring glory to our Creator.

For some of us that may be making the 190th meal for 2021 (I did the math.) It may be changing out a set of winter tires for spring ones. It may be planting seeds and pruning shrubs. It may be writing blog articles and taking photos. It may be preaching sermons, leading songs, ushering that young family to a back pew close to the nursery.

In his letter to the scattered believers of the early church, Peter wrote, “As every man has received the gift, even so minster the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”[2]

It’s terrifying really, to recognize the Presence of God in the everyday acts of life—terrifying, humbling, and exhilarating to know that God inhabits the praises of His people.


[1] The Holy Bible, King James (King James Bible Online, 2018), https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org.

[2] The Holy Bible, v. I Peter 4:10-11.


If you missed the first two posts in this series, you can catch Soul Song 1 here and Soul Song 2 here. Also, in honour of Palm Sunday tomorrow here’s a meditation from the archives, which asks the question “Was it only child’s play?”

Finally, if you don’t want to miss a post, you can enter your email address below, and new posts will come directly to your inbox every time I hit “Publish.”

8 Comments on “Soul Songs 3: Inhabit the Praise

  1. This is a powerful reminder, Yolanda. It was just what I needed to read on this Sunday evening as I think about the week ahead. Thank you for sharing. I’m enjoying this series so much!

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  2. Beautiful! I have not heard that song, but I love the words. Habitation makes me think of the first few paragraphs of John Chapter 1, how Jesus came to “dwell,” or “inhabit,” his earthly body. It also makes me think of the word, “abide,” as we are to abide in Christ.

    Liked by 1 person

    • John 1 is probably my favourite passage of all time! If you are interested in listening to the song, you can click the green link. 🙂

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  3. Beautiful words again. I love this song too.
    “…and become known to all within.” That was where, when I started reading this morning, I jumped up saying, “Yes, yes!” and ran off to help finish getting ready for company. I have been so, so, SO blessed by that knowing lately–cultivating deeper relationships here in our new community.
    And then in this morning’s message, there was something along the same lines–that when the blood of Christ cleanses us, we have fellowship with anyone else who has also been transformed by that experience.
    And God inhabits us and our praise and our fellowship in His name…what a joy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautifully said! This reminded me of my life verse, Psalm 71:3, “Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.” What a comfort to know that God is my dwelling place, and what a humbling thought to remember that He dwells within me as well!

    Liked by 1 person

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