Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan
There is a necessity for praise in prayer, praise of the beauty of God, for man must learn to recognize and praise the beauty of God as manifested in all His creation. In this way he impresses beauty on his soul, and he is able to manifest it in himself, and he becomes the friend of all and is without prejudice. For this reason the Sufi cultivates his heart. The emblem of the Sufi is a heart between two wings, meaning that when the heart is cultivated man can soar up into the heights of heaven.
"Why does God need praise from me? Who am I that I should offer Him praise?" True, we can never praise Him enough; never can our praise be sufficient, but our souls are blessed with the impression of the Glory of God whenever we praise Him. The soul could praise God every moment and yet wanting to praise Him yet more, it is constantly hungering and thirsting to find the Beauty and Perfection of God. By the praise of God the soul is filled with bliss; even to utter the name of God is a blessing that can fill the soul with light, joy and happiness as nothing else can do.
One might ask what effect prayers can have upon the soul, which is pure and aloof from everything. The soul, when it sees the external self bowing before God, rejoices and is glad. Prayer gives nobility to whoever prays, be he rich or poor. The attitude of a prayerful person towards God is that of a lover towards his beloved, of a child towards its parents, of a servant towards his master, of a pupil towards his teacher, of a soldier towards his commander. ...
There are many virtues, but there is one principal virtue. Every moment passed outside the presence of God is sin, and every moment in His presence is virtue. The whole object of the Sufi, after learning this way of communicating is to arrive at a stage where every moment of our life passes in communion with God, and where our every action is done as if God were before us. Is that within everyone's reach? We are meant to be so. Just think of a person who is in love: when he eats or drinks, whatever he does, the image of the beloved is there. In the same way, when the love of God has come, it is natural to think of God in everything we do.
~~~ Our soul is blessed with the impression of the glory of God whenever our lips praise Him.