Praise and worship are key for ushering in the presence of God in our lives and churches. Years ago, I heard a message on the power of praise that has had a lasting impact on my life and ministry. In the message, the speaker quoted Psalm 8:2 “Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength (or praise as other versions say), because of Your enemies, that You may silence the enemy and the avenger.” The preacher gave an illustration that changed my view of the power of praise. He talked about a guard dog chained to a post, who runs up barking angrily at anyone passing by, but gets yanked back as soon as he reaches the end of the chain. The enemy will come against us with bared teeth so to speak, in many aspects of our lives, but our praise is what gets God’s attention and when we praise him, God grabs the chain and yanks the enemy back.
THERE IS POWER IN PRAISE
Praise is a weapon that sends the enemy in retreat
We need a change in perspective here. Rather than trying to help God when things don’t go the way we think they should, we need to learn to praise Him. God does not need any assistance. He is well equipped and knows how to handle anything we ask Him. Paul stated that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal or human, but mighty in God to pull down strongholds, thoughts and imaginations that attempt to rise above the knowledge of God. When we praise Him, we exalt Him, we place God in His rightful place, which is above all issues, thoughts or strongholds. As we learn to exalt God and not our struggles, those thoughts the enemy will use to attack us with, intending to destroy us, will have less impact and possibly no impact as we grow stronger.
Praise will build our “inner man”
Psalm 59:16 “But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.” Starting the day praising the Lord will cause your inner you to be fortified. Knowing who God is and praising Him will cement a realization that nothing can come against us that our God cannot handle. Simplest definition of God’s sovereignty that I heard years ago: He is God, I am not. When we give our struggles to God, it is amazing what He will do…He is not short on resources. So, let’s choose to praise Him and not try to help ourselves with our own plans and devices.
Praise, a unique war strategy
We all know the story of the fortified city of Jericho and God’s strategy to Joshua. (Joshua 6:1-27) The story ends with the walls coming down (spoiler alert), the people not incurring loss and God’s and Israel’s fame spreading across the land. Imagine for a moment if they had tried to attack the thick walls of the city on their own; they being unprotected below and very liable for defeat. But God asked Israel to march around Jericho, shout and sound the trumpets and victory came as a result. Unusual strategy.
Jehoshaphat is another example (2 Chronicles 20:15-29) of a battle not fought with swords and spears, but with music and praise – v. 21 “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.”
We will not find these war strategies in any modern military book of war, but in God’s economy, what we call smart is really foolishness, because He uses what men call foolish to confound the wise (1 Corinthians 1:27), and in light of that truth, we need to learn to submit to His plans and purposes and to His strategic outlook simply because He knows better than we do.
Praise, the antidote of trials
The enemy uses trials to distract, causing us to blame God and disrupt the life-giving relationship between us and the Father. Trials can hinder our progress and stop our praise. In Psalm 137:1-4, when Israel was taken captive by the Babylonians, they were taunted by their enemy to sing songs to their God, and they replied they could not sing while in captivity…discouragement had settled in. We also allow the enemy to poison us with lies that God is not on our side, that he has abandoned us, and our response is “how can we sing?” History is on our side, however. We have seen in Joshua and Jehoshaphat’s lives that praising in times of trial and confusion is what we need to do. It may sound awkward, but God loves to hear our praises and He will come to our rescue. God knows when to step into situations and bring about the answers we need; we just need to praise Him despite circumstances. We not only praise Him when things go well, we praise Him and remember what He’s done for us. His track record speaks loud and clear.
What’s the alternative? We can praise and invoke the God of angel armies to come to our rescue or sit down like the people of Israel by the river and wonder what happened and how can we possibly sing to God? What will we do? Praise and see God’s deliverance or retreat and lay down in defeat?
Our praise will yank the chain and push the enemy back. Our praise will still the avenger.
Davide has a unique communication style that has given him a platform in the marketplace to use his “get the job done” skill set.God has instilled in Davide a passion to equip the body of Christ through teaching, mentoring and speaking life through experience and wisdom of years.He is deeply passionate about pursuing and cultivating the presence of God. He currently lives with his wife of 31 years, Lois in Charlotte, NC. They have 3 amazing children with their married spouses.