It was 3am. My three year-old son, Tom, had been coughing without reprieve for 8 solid hours. The cough was deep and contained a strange rattling sound. With each cough my heart was torn. He had double pneumonia, croup, bronchitis and asthma all at once.
I had been praying, weeping, crying out to God for those 8 hours “Have mercy on my son Lord!” At 3am I left my husband at Tom’s bedside and went to “get serious” with God. I knelt down and prayed.
Immediately He said to me “No. Praise Me.”
That was the last thing I felt like doing! I was exhausted, heart-broken, anxious. But it was a definite and clear command from the Lord, so I stood up and sang :
“Oh Lamb of God, sweet Lamb of God
I love the Holy Lamb of God
Oh wash me in His precious blood,
My Jesus Christ the Lamb of God!”
As I sang I saw the outline of a Man in front of me in the darkness and Tom’s coughing immediately stopped. We slept soundly the rest of the night.
One thing I have learnt is that there is power in praise.
“Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens!
Praise Him in the heights!
Praise Him all His angels;
Praise Him all His hosts!” Psalm 148:1, 2
Powerful enemies were coming against Israel (2 Chronicles 20). Jehosophat and the people didn’t know what to do. He proclaimed a fast and they cried out to God. God told them not to fear, that they would not have to even fight – the battle was His not theirs. By faith in God’s Word they sang and praised the Lord and the enemy was defeated:
“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.” 21 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his[c] holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:
“Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.”
22 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.”
This morning I was feeling discouraged and defeated myself in some of the areas my husband and I have been called to minister in. But we decided to sing. We sang that old chorus :
“Be strong and of good courage
Be not afraid neither be dismayed…
For the Lord thy God is with thee
Whereever you go…”
This afternoon I got a phone call – there has been victory in the very area I had felt discouraged over this morning! Praise the Lord!
Praise is a powerful weapon in the Christian’s arsenal.
“Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand;….To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;” Psalm 149
The Holy Spirit has given me two dreams lately about the power of praise. In both dreams I have come face to face with the devil and found that they only way to stand and to defeat him is through worshipping and praising the Lord Jesus Christ. I’ve sung and asked others to sing with me, anointed songs of the blood of the Lamb and the cross – and the enemy has been bound and defeated.
I saw this actually happen a couple of weeks ago in our women’s prayer group. As we praised the Lord the anointing of the Spirit fell down upon us. His power came so strongly upon us that we could not do much at all but shake and cry. From that moment in each of the lives of those whom were present there has been victory in our lives in different areas.
Praise magnifies the Lord
“O magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together.” Psalm 34:3
When we exalt the Lord in praise He is magnified. We see Him for who He truly is – He is great, He is mighty, He is powerful. He is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. He is not some dumb idol made with man’s hands! God cannot remain small in our eyes when we praise Him. Suddenly our faith increases as we see the Lord for who He truly is and we know that NOTHING Is impossible.
Praise lifts our eyes from ourselves up to Him
“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-3
When we praise the Lord we stop focusing on ourselves and our problems and focus on Him. We “set our minds on things above, not on things below” and we are lifted in faith. Truly the atmosphere of heaven is brought down to earth in praise of our Lord, we enter His presence and that is when our prayers are answered and our help comes.
Praise is a sacrifice
Praise is something we can offer to the Lord Jesus for all that He has done for us. We can never praise Him enough for Who He is and for what He has done but we can offer Him the fruit of our lips. Praise is a sacrifice of our time, of our pride, of even our own feelings and emotions.
“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name….for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” Hebrews 13:15, 16
Praise breaks bondages
Paul and Silas were in prison, bound and chained for the sake of the gospel. Sometimes we are too, persecuted, hurt by man’s words, bound by rejection and fear.
“Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.” Acts 16:24-26
The thing about praise is that it sets captives free. When we praise we are set free from bondage. And the amazing thing is, those who are around us are also set free.
“I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
3 O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.” Psalm 34:1-3