We expect God to give, give, give, but we give conditional praise in return. He gave us Jesus, yet we cannot give him a full 30-second praise break. My words are not meant to be harsh, but if the tambourine fits, then shake it. Our praise is a continuous movement of gratitude that is not predicated on anything except the love of God. Praise is not specific to a place or time. It occurs in different levels and is contagious. Praise cannot be forced.
One of my biggest pet peeves is someone getting on the mic at a church and forcing people to stand up, clap, sing, or dance. Praise is personal and style is specific to the person giving it. I've seen some people only clap their hands in praise. That is what they do. Praise is not a competition. If you haven't seen people trying to out praise each other, just keep living. It doesn't just happen in the movies.
So what is praise? Praise is an action and a feeling. It is the outward movements of the inner heart and the manifestation of a love that is never ending. We all have many reasons to praise God. Often times, the songs we sing at church focus on reasons why God has brought us out of our past sins and into a new life. We sing about God changing our name, changing our talk, walk, mind, friends, family, and delivering us from addictions. But what happens when life clouds our praise? We go from rejoicing to worrying in 30 seconds. Our praise then becomes a repetitious cycle of rhyming phrases. Remember, God looks at our heart. I'm pretty sure He is not pleased when we sing from our heads and not our hearts.
So what do we do about it?
Essentially we practice the opposite of mindfulness. Mindfulness involves you blocking out everything and focusing on the present moment, Praise involves us focusing on the past and present blessings of God. We block out all of our troubles, responsibilities, and concerns and focus only on what God has done and is doing for us. I find that when I keep my eyes closed, I am able to physically block out all distractions and just focus on what I am saying and picturing Jesus Himself. It takes time and is not without it's slip ups. A better way is to study the word of God and develop a genuine love and relationship with Him. It makes praising Him a lot easier and will take your praise to a whole new level.