The Power of Praise

The Power of Praise

What is praise? Praise means “to commend, to applaud, to magnify.” For the Christian, praising God is an expression of worshipping and glorifying the Lord. When we praise God, we humble ourselves and center our attention upon the Lord with heart-felt expressions of love, adoration, and thanksgiving. Praising God is to be our way of life.

Psalm 100 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Reasons to Praise God

1. Almighty God is worthy of our praise and worship.
Ps 18:3 I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.

2. We are called to praise and worship God.
Ps 150:6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.

3. Praise and worship ushers in the presence of God.
Ps 22:3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. (KJV)

4. Praise defeats our enemy. Our praise puts evil to flight.
Ps 8:2 From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.

How to Praise God

1. With our body and voice.
Ps 63:3-4 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.

2. With instruments of music.
Ps 150:3-5 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.

3. With our emotions.
Ps 47:1 Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.

4. With our life.
1 Cor 10:31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

We have been studying the book of Revelation on Wednesday evenings. After Jesus gives John seven messages for the churches, He says He is going to show John what is to come. The first thing John sees is the throne room of Almighty God.

Why did Jesus show John the throne room before showing him what the future beheld? Because He knew it’s possible to focus on the trouble in this world and think God is not in control.

John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

That’s what Jesus is trying to drive home to us in His Revelation to John. “You are going to have trouble in this world”– that truth in the Book of Revelation is inescapable: There is, and there will be in the future, a lot of trouble in this world! But this Revelation also tells us to take heart, if we belong to Jesus, because we will overcome.

Thus, Revelation is not only telling that we will overcome, but it is telling us HOW we can overcome! When we worship and praise God as those in the throne room do, we are focusing upon God, who has the power and the majesty and the desire to deliver us from fear, oppression, and depression. Whatever we face in this world, we need to stay focused on the throne room and praise God. Let’s look at some examples.

Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, was vastly outnumbered by a huge army that was attacking his kingdom. Therefore, he proclaimed a fast and sought the Lord with all his people. The Lord heard their cry and promised them victory. Then Jehoshaphat sent singers and worshippers ahead of his army as he went to meet the enemy. As they praised and worshipped the Lord, the Lord caused the enemies of Judah to fight each other and destroy themselves.

2Chron 20:20-22 Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, "Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful." After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: "Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever." As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.

Militarily speaking, Judah should not have won this battle, but they did because they had a promise from God. Even though it might appear that they went out to this battle without much preparation, they actually did some major things to prepare themselves for this challenge. They: 1) Inquired of the Lord, 2) Declared a fast, 3) They spent time in prayer, and 4) The entire nation engaged in this activity. As a result, they didn’t have to fight at all. They watched the Lord fight the battle for them and they got the plunder!

God inhabits the praises of His people. When we praise and worship Him, the presence of God will fill every situation that we are facing, and we will experience victory in all our battles.

When we praise and worship the Lord, the Lord will cause confusion in the camp of our enemies and make them destroy themselves. When God’s people begin to praise His name, it sends the demons running and it releases the power and might of God on our behalf.

Do you want to be released from chains that have you bound? Do you want to see the enemy put to flight? Praise God, in spite of your situation, in spite of what you feel. Praise Him because He is God and He is worthy. Praise Him for the battles He’s already fought for you and won. Praise Him because He has a perfect plan to give you victory and glorify Himself this time, too.

Now, let’s look at a New Testament example.

Acts 16:22-26 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose.

Now, if any two people ever had a reason to whine, it would be Paul and Silas. They were thrown in a Philippian prison because they had cast a demon out of a girl. They were stripped, beaten, and put in stocks, which clamped their arms and legs in an immobile position, causing cramps and loss of circulation. The atmosphere there was depressing. According to the standards of that day, a prison was more like a dungeon - a dark, damp, putrid place, with no facility for human waste or comforts of any kind. But instead of complaining to God, they began praising Him.

Praise elevates us into God’s presence. Paul and Silas knew how to lift their hearts above their troubles and enter into God’s presence and power. Through praise and worship, their hearts were raised into the joyous presence and peace of God, which allowed His power to operate in their circumstances.

When we get our minds off of ourselves, our circumstances--and onto God, His greatness, and His might--and praise Him with our whole heart--the chains of doubt, fear, and depression are broken, and we are set free by the power of God.

Some think that worship is a response after the Holy Spirit moves upon them. But, it’s the other way around. The Holy Spirit moves when we praise and worship. Lifting up Jesus Christ through praise and worship invokes the Lord’s presence and power to flow in our midst. That is why we begin our services with praise and worship songs.

There are many actions involved with praise to God – verbal expressions of adoration and thanksgiving, singing, playing instruments, shouting, dancing, lifting or clapping our hands. But true praise is not “merely” going through these motions. Jesus spoke about the hypocrisy of the Pharisees whose worship was only an outward show and not from the heart.

Matt. 15:8 These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

Unfortunately, some people think praise is something that only takes place in church. However, praise should be a part of a believer’s lifestyle, part of our daily prayer life, at work, in the car, at home, in bed, or anywhere.

Ps. 34:1 I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.

Praise is an expression of faith! It declares that we believe God is with us and He is in control of the outcome of all our circumstances.

Praise is a “sacrifice,” something that we offer to God, not just because we feel like it, but because we believe in Him, love Him, and believe He is worthy of our praise. When we praise and worship the Lord in the midst of our pain and suffering, we will experience freedom from our bondages of fear, doubt, depression, and deliverance from demonic oppression.

King Saul was tormented by an evil spirit. So they brought David to play the harp before him. David was a worshipper. And as he played the harp and worshipped the Lord, the evil spirit would leave Saul and he would be refreshed. That is why we are encouraging you to listen to Christian music on the radio instead of secular music.

Praise can bring about immediate results. As we put on the garment of praise, we will be delivered from the spirit of heaviness. Why do you think the devil fights us so hard when we begin or desire to praise God? The devil knows that there is power in our praise!

Eph. 5:19-20 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

No one has a hard time praising God, as long as they like what it is that’s happening to them. It’s when we praise and thank Him in the midst of the storm, and trust Him no matter what happens, or what the outcome is, that God delivers us.

Therefore, no matter what we are facing today, no matter what’s going on in the world around us; no matter what anybody says, friends or foes; no matter what the media says; no matter what the economic advisors say; no matter what the doctor is saying; no matter what our family is saying; no matter what our body is saying, we should always be thanking and praising God, because the victory has already been won. The blood of Jesus has already made us victorious over every situation! God is on the throne!

When we get bad news, we are shocked and forget God is in control. If we don’t quickly recover, we won’t feel like singing anything but the blues. However, the blues just makes the news about “you’s”, and that’s not where the victory lies. The victory begins with our praise unto the One who has the power to deliver us from the bad news, Jesus Christ!

We don’t have to wait for everything to be perfect before we decide to celebrate what God is going to do in our life. Because if we do, we never will celebrate! Praise is putting action behind our faith. Praise is about what God is capable of, not what we are capable of.

God is still the same God, who answered Jehoshaphat, Paul, and Silas when they praised Him in the moment of their need! And He will do the same for us today. It doesn’t matter what the needs are, whether they are big or small, He can handle them all!

Praise is putting action behind our faith in the middle of our situation. Therefore, praise Him, trust Him, continually, in all situations, and experience the power of God.